Regional Public Journalism
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Small Northwest Winemakers May Have More Juice To Work With This Year

Trey Busch
Sleight of Hand Cellars
Northwest winemakers expect an abundance of high-quality juice this year.

Early crop reports from farmers say Washington and Oregon’s wine grape harvest appears to be up a tick for 2013.

In Oregon, winemakers appear to have hauled in as many as 20 percent more grapes this year than last, based on observations of larger-scale growers. In Washington this year, it looks like growers will haul in about 15 percent more fruit.

Todd Newhouse, the general manager of Upland Vineyards in southeastern Washington, says Washington growers benefited from a combination of a mild winter, warm spring and summer and a near-perfect fall.

“It might be our best ever vintage we’ve ever had in Washington," he says. "So everyone’s going to benefit. I’ve talked to several prominent winemakers in the last week or two, and they are giddy.”

In Idaho, wine grape farmers appear to be down by about 10 percent from last year. Winter damage and a late frost hurt growers in the Gem state, but a hot summer helped the remaining fruit ripen.

Anna King calls Richland, Washington home and loves unearthing great stories about people in the Northwest. She reports for the Northwest News Network from a studio at Washington State University, Tri-Cities. She covers the Mid-Columbia region, from nuclear reactors to Mexican rodeos.