Washington wine grape growers harvested 261,000 tons in 2018, the second largest crop in history, according to the annual Grape Production Report released this week by Washington State Wine.
That represents a 14 percent increase from 2017 but still falls shy of the 270,000-ton record set in 2016.
Cabernet Sauvignon continues to be the top variety, comprising 29 percent of the total harvest at 74,400 tons, followed by Chardonnay at 41,500 tons. That’s followed by 33,000 tons each for Merlot and Riesling, and 21,000 tons of Syrah.
“Cabernet Sauvignon is absolutely skyrocketing — its production has more than doubled in just six years,” said Steve Warner, President of Washington State Wine, in a news release. “Washington is still in a period of tremendous growth, with more than 970 wineries, 58,000 acres of wine grapes, and no sign of slowing down.”
Grape prices were also up slightly on average: Growers received $1,213 per ton on average. Petit Verdot garnered the highest prices, $1,675 per ton compared to $1,505 for Cabernet Sauvignon.
Growing conditions in 2018 were favorable, with a hot summer and a cool fall that provided good ripening and harvest conditions and resulted in high quality fruit.
“We’re excited to see how the 2018 wines come together—it could be a real blockbuster vintage for Washington,” Warner said.
To see all the statistics, head to Washington State Wine’s website.
—by Kate Prengaman
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