MENDON, N.Y. (WROC) — When people think of wine in Western New York, the Finger Lakes region is usually the first place that comes to mind. That comes as no surprise as the Finger Lakes is one of the most well-known areas for wine production in the state. Meteorologist Christine Gregory visited an “up and coming” winery in the community to break down just how much the local weather influences the grapes used to make our wine.

Grape growers in this area have to get used to the different kinds of weather our region has to offer. As Matt Cassavaugh from 20 Deep Winery explains, he remembers the best grape harvests for wine correlating with years that have less rain and less humidity. 

Matt Cassavaugh, Wine Grower at 20 Deep Winery says, “I think that a lot of vintages we have a tendency to have periods where we get a little more rain than the grapes need or want which puts them under a little bit of stress, so when it is dry like this it really sets itself up optimally for the grapes, and puts us in a good position to be able to effectively take care of them.”

With the weather being more on the drier side this year compared to the soaker of a summer last year, the sunnier days lately have really allowed for the grape vines to thrive.

“The grapes really, really enjoy the sunlight. They are able to capture sunlight and basically turn it into sugar for the grapes, so it helps them develop sweeter, more rich flavors which translates to the wine which is really great…” Matt says.

The connection between weather and wine is also tied into the name of the winery with mature vine roots being able to grow up to 20 feet deep into the ground, giving them the opportunity to search for any lingering moisture in the soil if they need to. 

It’s because of this well-established root system that the grape vines can still thrive during brief dry spells. The sandy quality to the soil also makes it easier for it to retain heat and drain soil moisture well, which works best in wetter climates often seen in Western New York summers. 

“I also think that it’s really nice that we have diverse weather. I think that it makes every year a little bit different, um the wines and the grapes grow a little bit differently every year and that diversity kind of helps define our wine region it makes things more interesting it helps our wines more fun to drink I think,” Matt says. 

Having a collective knowledge of the weather helps wineries like this one continue to learn and produce wine that is truly unique to the Finger Lakes. Reporting in Mendon, Christine Gregory, News 8. 

For a glimpse of what 20 Deep Winery has to offer they are currently open to private tours and tastings during select days of the week with the grand opening of the winery scheduled for some time later this summer.