Washington Wine Grape Harvest Pt 1

Washington Wine Grape Harvest Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. Washington’s wine grape crop for 2020 may be smaller, but folks in the industry are reporting a very high quality.

Washington State Wine Commission president Steve Warner says just about every variety was down in yield for 2020 for a variety of reasons, including weather and wildfire events, but higher quality is being seen across the board …

WARNER ... “It’s interesting, because really we can both blame Mother Nature and we can also thanks Mother Nature because part of what’s driving that quality, and I know you hear this all the time, part of what’s driving that quality in the lower yields where we had less tonnage per acre, so we had basically a smaller crop in the sense that we had smaller clusters.”

Warner says the late-season frosts contributed to those smaller grapes …

WARNER … “We did have some freezes in October of 2019 and a lot of, what the farmers were telling me, that that led to smaller canopies and yields for 2020 and I think a lot of consumers may not realize that, but some frosts can impact the following year’s yields.”

For the growers and winemakers, Warners says that’s just fine …

WARNER … “Just depending on the variety especially our winemakers really love the smaller berries, the smaller yields. They tend to be the wines that really have a lot of longevity and a lot of just amazing textures to them. And so, I think that’s what I’m hearing across the board is it’s just been, you know, even though the yields are down, the quality is up.”

Tune in tomorrow for more on the 2020 wine grape crop … and what it means for that vintage.

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