Washington Wine Grape Harvest Pt 2

Washington Wine Grape Harvest Pt 2

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. The wine grape crop in Washington state for 2020, although smaller, may be a blessing for the quality of the wines that will come from it.

Washington State Wine Commission president Steve Warner says cooler late season temps and wildfire events helped the grapes in both smaller size and flavor …

WARNER … “You know, it’s okay to let the fruit hang a little bit long because of those cooler overnight temperatures and it just allows the phenolics and the flavors to really mature without adding a lot more sugar to the fruit because that sugar is what leads often times to higher alcohol wines when you actually make the wines.

So, the longer we can let them hang, often times that’s a good thing.”

And the smoke, Warner says actually helped a little …

WARNER … “And, we’ve got some of the world’s leading smoke exposure experts at WSU and they’re studying this and counters in the field and they’re doing all kinds of smoke trials and all kinds of things, but referring specifically to this last harvest, it was higher levels of smoke which basically act as almost like a cloud cover so it can delay picking often times.”

Warner says it’s seems a bit counter intuitive, but it all worked out …

WARNER … “It wasn’t necessarily always a bad thing because it also stops some of those, particularly at the fire events or earlier in the year, it actually shelters and the canopies from some of those triple-digit temperatures which can often shut down the vine.”

Tune in tomorrow for more on Washington’s wine grapes, the industry and some unlikely partners.

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