Rainy summer bears fruit for one winery - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Rainy summer bears fruit for one winery

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"More rain was really, really good," exclaims Jesse Taymore, general manager of Georgia Winery. He's had no problem with the extremely wet summer in the Tennessee Valley this year. It doubled his normal crop of muscadines and extended their window to ripen.

"We harvested later this year. We typically do it the first week of September and this year we did it just this week," says Taymore.

A whopping 900 gallons of white muscadines have been picked, a little less of the red, grown mostly at their Chattanooga Valley vineyard. The extra grapes for the Ringgold winery make ciders, jellies, and of course wines. They grow around 8 of the 30 different varieties. Extra hired hands knocked out harvesting in two days as opposed to the normal week's time.

"Just gave them instructions on how to do it and they just went to town," says Taymore.

But when so many other grapes in the South have perished due to the summer rainfall which totaled around 56% higher than normal, how have the muscadines flourished? Taymore says it's because they're among the toughest grapes around.

"They're able to ward off any pests and stuff and they're also able to withstand weather with their thick skin," explains Taymore. They also resist mold and mildew well.

Dalton, Georgia resident Fara and her friend, Tentea, are happy about the extra grapes available and spent part of their Thursday at the winery.

"Oh, this is cool! We can pick grapes, too. So we're going to come back again," says Fara, with a big smile on her face.

They're fans of the sweet muscadines which are native to the Southeastern U.S., and will put their buckets-full to good use.

"Wine, definitely," Fara says assertively.

Meanwhile, Taymore says he'll reap the rewards of the large crop much further down the road.

"It takes about 6 to 9 months for our wines to ferment. So we won't actually see the effects of that until a year from now," says Taymore. He'll need to make more space on the shelves for the extra products.

Mescaline have been around for approximately 400 years and were originally grown by Native Americans. They contains large amounts of disease-fighting antioxidants.

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