ST. LOUIS – This year’s drought has been hell on grains, grasses and —well, most plants and animals—but it’s actually producing a sweeter fruit crop.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that peaches, apples and grapes have all come up earlier and sweeter than typical years because of the drought.
Grapes, for examples, have been stressed by temperatures and lack of moisture, but because vines have deep roots they are more resilient to drought conditions. More sun and less water in the fruit means that the sugars become more plentiful and concentrated, yielding more flavorful grapes and ultimately wines.
As the Post-Dispatch reports:
“We want to be respectful of our neighbors growing corn and soybeans because this has been an awful year for them,” said Charles Dressel, president of Mount Pleasant Winery in Branson, Mo. “But for anyone growing apples or peaches, or any type of vine fruit, the quality is just outstanding.”
The downside is that because these fruits have less moisture in them they’re smaller, and so it takes more to fill a bucket, which could cut into the bottom-line.
The drought could also play out in next year’s crop as stressed trees are slow to bud so far this summer.