Drought could be good news for wine lovers


OAKWOOD -- Crops are hurting in the heat, but not all hope is lost for some growers here in Central Illinois.

The grass is dry at Sleepy Creek Winery in Vermilion County, but the leaves are green and the grapes are growing. Grapes can handle the dry weather better than other crops.

Vineyard owner Joe Taylor says the drought is good news for wine lovers.

"The best wines are made in years of drought," Taylor said. "The flavors are concentrated. The sugars and intense flavors of the grapes will be translated into the wine that's made. So it should be a good quality year. Quantity, not so much."

The winery says it's not fully escaping the drought, though. According to Taylor, production will be lower this year.

And thanks to the drought, fruit is growing smaller than normal. More birds are also eating the grapes, Taylor said.

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