An unexpected benefit of a warm, dry year


The Oregon Wine Board reports the 2014 vintage will deliver “exceptional quality grapes at higher than normal yields.”

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BY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

The Oregon Wine Board reported the 2014 vintage will deliver “exceptional quality grapes at higher than normal yields.”

The first paragraph of the 2014 Oregon Harvest Report says it all: “The 2014 vintage in Oregon may be remembered as the vintage of a lifetime. From bud break through harvest, growers and winemakers throughout the state experienced an almost ideal growing season that delivered a record amount of exceptional, balanced fruit.”

The harvest was bolstered by dry and warm conditions: 

Harvest began around Sept. 12, roughly two weeks earlier than normal, although some of the warmer sites began during the first week of September. Conditions remained mostly dry through September with some rain at the end of the month. However, the rains this year were viewed as more of a nuisance than an actual problem or challenge, and ultimately helped to reduce pH levels and lower the rapidly rising sugar accumulation. Growers were able to harvest fruit in almost pristine conditions with no signs of disease and minimal fear of pest or bird effects. Most wineries are reporting higher than normal yields that resulted from larger than normal clusters. However, a freeze in December 2013 impacted some regions and sites, resulting in some bud and vine damage.

(SOURCE: Oregon Wine Board)

Pinot Noir yielded almost $114 million for the state’s wine industry.

Oregon wineries sold $430 million worth of wine both nationally and around the world. That’s a 14 percent increase from 2013, mostly in the international market. Worldwide, Oregon sales increased 50 percent, while only 12 percent throughout the U.S.

The state’s wine industry continues to grow. Seventy -one more wineries opened in 2014, bringing the total to 676. Meanwhile, grape-growers increased 8 percent to 1,027. More acres of grapes were planted — about a 14 percent increase over 2013.

All that good growing weather also increased how many grapes were harvested per acre planted nearly 60 percent. That means more wine was made, as well.

(SOURCE: OregonLive.com)

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