Midwest summers are infamous for being hot, sticky, humid, and — above all — unpredictable. Andrew Meggitt, St. James Winery’s executive winemaker, learned this very quickly when he first began making wine in Missouri after stints in New Zealand and France.
This summer has been particularly difficult for Midwest winemakers because of its unseasonably cool temperatures, heavy rainfall, and high humidity — the perfect recipe for diseases like downy mildew and black rot.
Missouri’s June rainfall was nearly double that of recent years. Add that to slightly cooler temperatures (averaging a high of 84 degrees Fahrenheit compared to an average of 87 degrees) and above-average humidity, and you can see how the weather has presented some unique challenges for St. James Winery.