Early Grape Crop
Early Grape Crop I’m Lacy Gray with Washington Ag Today. Vicky Scharlau, Executive Director of the Washington Wine Industry Foundation, says that this years grape crop appears to be ahead of schedule. SCHARLAU: It looks to be ten days to two weeks early. We won’t really know this until after harvest, but when we did a crop estimate in late July the numbers that we were estimating at that point would indicate that we’re looking at a record harvest. But you don’t really count those grapes until after they’ve all been picked and all taken to the wineries. So we won’t know until we get our crush estimates in November. While the weather has given other fruit producers fits this year, Scharlau says for grapes it’s been perfect weather. SCHARLAU: Pretty much the whole season, even when we’ve had some near hits - we’ve had some pretty good comebacks in terms of - we’d have rain, but then it would warm up and we’ve have the perfect growing conditions. This time of year, having the cool nights and warm days, makes perfect apples and it also makes perfect wine grapes. Surprisingly, there are actually a few areas around the state that are already picking. SCHARLAU: Some early reds, some whites - depends on the area, depends on the slope of where the vineyard is planted, depends on variety, and it depends really on what kind of wine the winemakers looking to make. Because the winemaker, he or she, will be testing the sugar level of those individual vineyard locations to see if they’re hitting the flavor profile that they are looking for. That’s Washington Ag Today. I’m Lacy Gray on the Ag Information Network.