Washington State’s wine grape harvest came in smaller compared to previous years, but according to the state Wine Commission, the quality of the fruit was very high. The annual Grape Production Report, released Thursday shows that 201,000 tons were harvested in 2019, a 23% year-over-year drop.
“Mother Nature served a series of unfortunate frost events throughout the state in early to mid-October,” said Steve Warner, President of Washington Wine. “Many winemakers and growers had already picked most or all of their fruit before the frosts, but for sites carrying higher yields, there was a good amount of fruit left unpicked due to concerns about frost damage.”
Overall, the growing season was slightly cooler when compared to recent years, but on par with historical 20-year averages.
“Although a smaller harvest, farmers reported ultra-high quality in the fruit that did come in,” Warner said. “The cooler temperatures equated to lower overall sugar accumulation and higher acidities, which has a lot of winemakers excited about the 2019 vintage.”
According to the grape report, Cabernet Sauvignon is still king in Washington at 53,740 tons or 27% of the total. Chardonnay was second at 33,540 tons or 17% of the total. Riesling, Merlot and Syrah rounded out the top five, which altogether equated to more than 80% of the crop.
Red varieties accounted for 60% of the total production, which has remained roughly consistent over the past three years.
Farmers received an average of $1,315 per ton, which was an 8% increase over the previous year. Petit Verdot continues to receive the highest average price per ton at $1,876.
For additional details, visit the Washington Wine website:
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