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Dear Dr. Vinny,

Is picking grapes in the rain bad for making wine?

—Ian C., Crib Point, Victoria, Australia

Dear Ian,

The act of picking grapes in the rain in and of itself is not a bad thing. But rain during harvest can cause all kinds of trouble, starting with cloudy skies getting in the way of the grapes getting ripe. If grapes get too much water, it could cause the grapes to swell and even split—those cracks can mean mold or even the beginning of spoilage. Even if the grapes don’t crack, the extra water can plump up the berries, diluting the flavors and messing with the balance of sugar and acid for ideal winemaking.

—Dr. Vinny

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