Wine Acreage Keeps Growing Pt 1

Wine Acreage Keeps Growing Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today's Fruit Grower Report, I'm Bob Larson. The growth of high quality wines in Washington has, logically, led the continued growth in the number of acres where wine grapes are grown.

Kevin Corliss, Vice President of Vineyards at Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, says wine lovers are setting the tone ...

KEVIN CORLISS ... "Well, in the market place, certainly, right now Cabernet is king. That's the primary variety we're asking people to plant. There are support varieties as well. Also, red, Syrah and Merlot are doing well as blenders and also on their own. In the future, we think we'll see continued growth in some of the whites as well, but right now we're pretty well right-sized with whites."

Corliss says the popularity of Washington wines comes down to quality and affordability ...

KEVIN CORLISS ... "You know, I think more importantly, the market has discovered the value of the extremely high quality and very reasonable price that Washington has to offer and the market is what's driving the growth."

Corliss expects the acreage of wine grapes in our state to increase, but at a steady pace ...

KEVIN CORLISS ... "Really, for the foreseeable future, I see continued slow growth, slow to moderate growth, in wine grape acreage, especially red varieties for the foreseeable future."

With over 900 wineries, Washington is now the second largest producer of premium wines in the U.S. behind California. Last year, more than 350 growers harvested over 50,000 acres of wine grapes in our state, up from nearly 44,000 in 2011.

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