Growing and Producing Quality Wine Grapes

Growing and Producing Quality Wine Grapes

Growing and Producing Quality Wine Grapes

I'm Lacy Gray with Washington Ag Today.

The wine grape harvest, like many other crops in the state this year, has turned out to be a record breaker. Vicky Scharlau, with the Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers, says that that didn't really come as a surprise to growers.

SCHARLAU: The crop has been amazing and I think that most people knew that this was going to be the biggest crop we've had of wine grapes to date. It's planned growth for the Washington wine industry - we can't have more tank space than we have grapes, and more grapes than we have tank space. So it's a very symbiotic relationship, but as we prepare for our educational sessions, which are actually virtually all completed now for our February annual meeting and conference, I think that the levity of crop but also the quality is starting to make both winemakers and wine growers a little giddy.

Scharlau says in terms of physical size Washington's wine grape growing region compares to California's Sonoma Valley.

SCHARLAU: But of course California also has raisin grapes and table grapes in addition to lots of wine grapes. So the focus in Washington state has always been about quality and making sure that our consuming public as well as distributors and retailers and wine connoisseurs around the world focus on that upper end of wines. So, even when we develop our educational sessions we really focus on pushing that higher end envelope.

We will be talking with Scharlau more next week about the Washington wine industry and the upcoming annual conference and trade show.

That's Washington Ag Today.

I'm Lacy Gray on the Ag Information Network.

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