What kind of wine grape harvest will 2012 bring? - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

What kind of wine grape harvest will 2012 bring?

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KENNEWICK, Wash.—The success of the wine industry is largely based on the weather, but with the cold snap in 2010, and the rain in 2011, what will we see in this year's wine?  The overall tone is hopeful.

Wine grape growers at the 2012 Annual Meeting and Trade Show sponsored by the Wine Grape Growers Association say they predict they'll have a good year.

"Well it's going to be an interesting year that's for sure.  We've had some freezes and we had some heavy water issues that have related to an extended season," says Lynne Chamberlain, WA Association of Wine Grape Growers.

"With the winter we had it has been real easy on them and this point we should have a full crop," says Paul Champox, grower for 33 years.

"We're optimistic.  We've had a good winter, not a log of very cold temperatures and decent snow pack in the mountains for irrigation," says Brenton Roy, grower for 15 years.

Last year growers say they were down by 20% to 25%. Temperatures plummeted from 20 degrees to the negative single digits within days.  Vines and buds were not acclimated.  However, many say a down year typically means a good year isn't too far off.

"We seem to be on the downside of a cooling trend so we're hopeful that we will see warm weather early on. We'll get a rain profile from now to April or may filling those soils and getting us back on track," says Lynne Chamberlain, WA Association of Wine Grape Growers.

The Annual Meeting and Trade Show for wine grape growers and wine makers lasts through Friday at the Three Rivers Convention Center in Kennewick.  It's one of the largest events of its kind in the country.

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