CHESTER, Va. (WRIC) — Wineries are one of the few businesses thriving in Richmond’s record-breaking heat. 

“We’re so excited about the grapes we have coming in,” said Adam Thibault, winemaker at Ashton Creek Vineyard in Chester. 

Thibault and other winemakers in the region said the dry, hot conditions help the grapes. 

“You’re going to get a lot more expression of flavors that you might not have seen in the past. The alochol is going to be a little higher this year,” he said.

Gordon Neuenfeldt was visiting the vineyard and said he would be eager to try this year’s wine. 

“Absolutely. I’d be absolutely excited to try that wine,” said Neuenfeldt. 

Many grapes have been harvested but some varietals are still on the vines. The Virginia Farm Bureau said the last significant rain event statewide was in early July, which is the complete opposite of last year. 

Thibault said the dry weather helps the grapes too. 

“I think they could all use a little bit of rain but in comparison to last year where it just didn’t stop raining, it made it really difficult to get the grapes ripe before they started to rot and fall off the vine,” he said. 

However, Thibault said the heat is not good for one thing. 

“It definitely doesn’t help with picking them. It’s pretty miserable right now to be picking them in 95 degrees,” said Thibault. 

This weather is not good for all crops, though. The Virginia Farm Bureau said it is still too warm to plant winter grains and soybeans are suffering yield losses because of the dry conditions. 

Thibault and other winemakers told 8News this year will be one of the best for wine. He said the 2019 wine will start to be bottled in early 2020.

“I think 2019 is going to be a really great year for Virginia wine,” Thibault said.