wine industry

ANNA KING / NW News Network

Several years ago, Union Wine Company of Tualatin, Oregon, put some wine in cans for a food festival. It was such a hit, says owner Ryan Harms, he decided to do it as his main business.  

“I think there are a lot of indicators that are helping us feel confident about our continued investment and what we’re doing,” Harms says.

Now, Union ships its Underwood-branded cans to 49 states and 11 countries. Other big wineries have noticed.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

East of the Cascades in Washington and Oregon, it’s been about five to 10 degrees warmer than normal for most of the winter. Those unusually warm conditions have buds on fruit trees and grapevines starting to “push,” or emerge early.

And that has farmers worried.

Dicklyon / Wikimedia - tinyurl.com/ycvcmeok

October's California wine country wildfires damaged more than 30 wineries. Now, the Northwest wine industry and wine drinkers are stepping up to with their wallets to help.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

Washington state is proposing changes to how winery wastewater is handled. And that could mean consumers are in for some “bottle shock” when their favorite Washington wine gets more expensive.

Washington State University

Wine scientists and grape growers will converge in the Tri-Cities, Washington, next week to talk about how to produce high-quality wine when the climate is getting more extreme.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

Northwest farmers are getting a bit antsy to start spring prep. But they are tallying up damage from a harsh winter -- and they’re worried it’s not over yet.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

For the Northwest wine industry this is crunch time. A massive rail and trucking facility in southeast Washington is pushing its final shipments out to arrive on store shelves before the New Year.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

As the Northwest is bathed in autumn’s golden light, wineries across the region are harvesting, crushing grapes and making wine full bore. This year’s fruit looks petite and powerful.

JJ Williams / Kiona Vineyards

Wine harvest is underway in a small growing region in southeast Washington called Red Mountain. The dusty wedge of earth has been attracting an increasing amount of investment from winemakers from Napa, Canada and even Italy.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

Many of the distinct wine grape growing regions in the Northwest are celebrating 30 years since the federal government recognized them as appellations -- or distinct growing areas.

Tom Carmony / Flickr

The Northwest wine industry has matured to the point where certain regions are trying to set their wines apart -- think the Willamette Valley pinots, or Columbia Valley cabs.

Trey Busch / Sleight of Hand Cellars

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

Anna King / Northwest News Network

Dignitaries and leaders of the Northwest wine industry braved a drizzle for a ceremonial groundbreaking Thursday at Washington State University’s new Wine Science Center in the Tri-Cities.

Anna King, Northwest News Network. Vineyard manager Dick Boushey.

Wine grapes throughout the Northwest are ripening faster this year because of the hot dry summer. Vineyard managers and winemakers are preparing for a breakneck harvest over the next few weeks -- if it stays warm.

This year Eastern Washington had record-setting heat in July, while Oregon had consistently warm weather. Growers throughout the Northwest are hoping for cooler temperatures so the grapes don’t race to ripeness.

The prediction is for more wine, deeper colors and higher alcohol levels.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

In the wine business one good review can mean a lot of money.

Oregon Could Expand Use Of Wine 'Growlers'

Mar 6, 2013
Kevin Mooney / Northwest News Network

SALEM, Ore. – Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber is on a trade mission in Germany this week. One item on his agenda is to promote Oregon wines at a major tourism trade show. Meanwhile, back in Salem, lawmakers are trying to make it easier for Oregonians to buy more of that wine.

The Oregon House Wednesday approved a measure that would let wine aficionados fill up their own container at a store or restaurant. The bottles are sometimes called "growlers."

Democratic representative Paul Holvey told lawmakers the law would put wine on an equal footing with beer.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

WALLA WALLA, Wash. - Northwest winemakers are trying to wet-the-whistle of China's emerging middle class. Demand for wine is growing significantly there. And that’s drawn Chinese business delegations, restaurateurs and tourists to our region. There even may be a reality TV show that would feature Northwest wineries.

Back when the economy was rolling in mid-2000s, Long Shadows Wineries was jumping.

Photo by nerissa's ring via Flickr

RICHLAND, Wash. – This holiday season, Northwest winemakers are hoping to expand their customer base with a new sales venue. Seattle’s online shopping giant Amazon.com is now shipping wine.

Tom Hedges is co-founder of Hedges Family Estate on Red Mountain in southeast Washington. He says his family has only been selling wine on Amazon.com for about a week. It will take a few months to truly see if selling bottles through the site will actually pencil out.

Hedges doesn’t think there will be a lot of overlap with already established customers.