Oregon Wine Grapes and Smoke Pt 1

Oregon Wine Grapes and Smoke Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. 2020 has thrown its share of obstacles in the path of growers everywhere, but the September wildfires in the Pacific Northwest have turned celebration into concern for many Oregon wineries.

Oregon Wine Board’s Sally Murdoch says the fires struck on the heels of an excellent report on the growth of sales and production …

MURDOCH … “The pieces that were most evident when I really started to look at the numbers was not just year by year we’ve been growing, but even looking at the sale of a two year period, each of two years there was nice big chunks of growth that, in 2017 to 2019, was the biggest jump ever, if we’re looking at two year growth cycles.”

But now, Murdoch says we have worries of smoke damage in the midst of harvest …

MURDOCH … “So, the data is largely anecdotal right now, but the 2020 fires and the ground-level smoke in many of the grape-growing regions, with the cool weather that we experienced in June, shows that the grape vine development will be definitely reduced production this year.”

The results, Murdoch says will take time …

MURDOCH … “But then we’re testing a lot of the grapes right now. So, with 908 wineries submitting their tests for smoke levels, there’s a backlog. We already knew that there would be fewer wine grape tons harvested this vintage for 2020 because of the cool June and because of some other factors, but the September wildfires will definitely compound the situation.”

Tune in tomorrow for more … on Oregon’s wine grape worries.

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