How this year's grapes are looking for local wineries - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

How this year's grapes are looking for local wineries

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BENTON CITY, WA - Grape harvest is in full swing in eastern Washington as vineyards around our region race to pick all the grapes off their vines.

Those in the wine industry say that while this harvest has been a little bit different, it's still going to be a good year.

Greg Frichette, the owner and head winemaker at Frichette Winery on Red Mountain, says that although he and his wife Shae don't grow their own grapes, what he's seen so far from the neighbors he's bought from has been good...but definitely a change of pace from the past couple years.

"All of our white varietals came off and then our Merlots, and then it cooled off, and then we went through this two week lull where everything just continued to ripen, but slower, at a slower pace, so it's just been a slower harvest, but everything's still getting ripe in this neighborhood," Frichette said.

One of those Red Mountain neighbors is Shaw Vineyards, and Vineyard Operations Manager Marshall Edwards tells us why harvest seems like it's running later this year, and how much they have left to pick.

"The last couple years we've had early harvest, so most of the time we've started in August," Edwards said. "This year we were in the middle of September before we started picking, so we're a lot later, so the fruit has been able to hang on the vine a little longer. As you can see, we still have fruit hanging out here right now. We're about 90 percent picked out on Red Mountain right now."

And for anyone looking for how a similar year to 2017 turned out?

"So for people who do know about vintages and years and stuff, you're comparing this to maybe a 2012?"

"Yeah, maybe a little bit cooler year, but the fruit has been able to hang longer. I think the vintage is going to be fantastic."

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