Grapes are peaking earlier than ever before here

Libby Tarleton, an assistant viticulturist at Long Island Horticultural Research and Extension Center in Riverhead, puts netting over grape vines at the Sound Avenue farm Tuesday afternoon to protect the fruit from birds.

This time of year, the grapes hanging from vines from Calverton to Southold are usually small, hard and green, with only faint hints of their future as plump, sweet fruit.
But the hot, dry weather since June has led to an unusual phenomenon. V