A BUMPER CROP in WASHINGTON
It’s been a great year for grapes on the West Coast. A report by the Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers indicates a record crop of 155,OOO tons of wine grapes this fall, up from 145,OOO last year. The annual crop estimate is often on the high side, but it is expected that, even if it comes in a little lower, the tonnage will still be a record. After nearly two weeks of extremely hot weather at the end of July, August temperatures in Washington’s Columbia Valley were ideal for wine grapes, with highs in the mid-8Os. Other West Coast states also fared well: Oregon’s wine grape crop is expected to be about 37,OOO tons, up from 2OO8, while, California’s is estimated at 3.3 million tons.
And it’s not just the grapes that are having a good year. National sales of Washington State wines have increased 9.1% by value during the past year, almost double that of overall wine sales, which increased only 4.7%. Nationally, volume sales of Washington wine are also up 6.8%, compared to the 2.4% volume increase for overall wine sales in the country.