Great Grapes

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Former resident Norm Vernon has returned to Lillooet to work as the new technician on the Hot Spot Grape Project.

Vernon, who is an internationally certified arborist, grew up here but left to work and live in the Okanagan Valley and Manitoba.Now he's back and eager to gather climate data and assist with the development of the project, which has four experimental vineyards at Ruddocks Ranch between Lytton and Lillooet; at Christ'l Roshard and Doug Robson's home on Roshard Acres; at Bill and Eileen Pietilas' place in East Lillooet; and at Tim Jones' acreage at Fountain.

Vernon says weather data will be important in determining the feasibility of a wine industry for this area and will also help by providing important scientific information for other potential agricultural developments.

To that end, he will be installing small devices called ibuttons at 75 to 100 locations "along the valley and plateau" from south of Lytton to Big Bar in the north. The ibuttons are tiny, coin-sized temperature measuring and recording devices. They will be used to collect crucial weather information over a three-year period.

Read the full story in this week's issue of the Bridge River-Lillooet News. Papers on sale now.

More info in this week's paper. For a subscription call 250-256-4219 or email news@lillooetnews.net

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