Skaneateles vineyard faces different challenges compared to Finger Lakes wineries

SKANEATELES, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) - The fall season is well underway and so is the harvesting process for local wineries. One vineyard owner in Skaneateles, due to his location, has to take his harvesting process to another level.
 
Anyela’s Owner, Jim Nocek says he bought the land in 1996 and planted their first vines on the 100 acre plot in 2001 and 2002.
 
The vineyard has an elevation of 1,100 feet and it overlooks much of Skaneateles. But Nocek says that's his main issue around the winter season.
 
"You know, nothing is a guarantee. When I put grapes up here I knew that was part of life, but if we wanted to have a better probability of having a crop, we needed to do something," said Nocek.
 
Most wineries in the Finger Lakes benefit from being closer to the water because a lake like Skaneateles uses its relatively warm water and low elevation to help protect the vines.
 
But, at Anyela's, they're a little farther away and a little higher up so that makes them more prone to frost damage.
 
After their harvesting process, they have to do something more unique; they actually bury their vines completely to protect them from the cold temperatures.
 
"What we're going to do is select four to five canes from this group of canes that developed this year and we're going to then trim out the rest and we're going to pull it down and tie it to a wire on the ground," said Nocek.
 
Next, they plow every row and cover those canes by hand with four to six inches of rich, nutritious soil.
 
"If we were to take a five year period, I'd say three out of the five years this really help us out, that being we are glad that we did this. I would say two out of the five; well we probably didn't have to do it. But there's the gamble," said Nocek.
 
When the spring season rolls around, they will be uncovering all the vines by hand as they do every year.


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