Wine Grape Harvest In Good Shape For Most of WashingtonPosted: Updated:
WALLA WALLA, Wash.-- The first days of fall mean one thing for wine grape growers. Harvest. And this year it's off to a late start.
"We had an early cool spring that slowed things down a little bit, the long nice warm days and cool nights we've been having," said Vicki Scharlau, Executive Director for the Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers.
John Freeman, wine maker and general manager at Walla Walla Wine Works, agrees the weather plays a big role.
"Right now we're looking pretty good but if it does rain and stay wet for a fairly significant period of time, we would be very worried about it," said Freeman.
Freeman says just last week with highs of 90 degrees in Walla Walla, the brix or sugar levels in the wine went up. But this week it's back to normal.
"If you have really high brigs you're going to have a really high alcohol wine level, which will send it out of balance, so we're really happy with the weather we're having right now," said Freeman.
Walla Walla growers aren't the only ones smiling in the state.
"From Wenatchee to Spokane, Puget Sound to Walla Walla, Yakima, Prosser, the weather right now is just great for wine grape harvest," said Scharlau.
But even with great weather, some reds and whites, could see some delays.
"It's going to be a struggle for some of the late harvesting reds, so we'll have to work some of the magic in here, but the whites, we've virtually done no adjustments at all," said Peter Devison, winemaker at Apex.
Growers are confident the harvest will stay strong.
"In Walla Walla our wines are amazing, we're getting international recognition for them,the wines themselves are sought after," said Devison.