According to the annual Grape Production Report, gathered information from all sources, wineries, and growers in Washington State will harvest 240,000 tons of wine grapes in 2022. This is a 34% increase from the year before. In addition, the harvest produced the best grapes possible.
Chris Stone, VP of Marketing and Communications for the Washington State Wine Commission, said, "Both winemakers and growers are thrilled with the quality of the 2022 fruit, which has great flavors and a high level of natural acidity." "This is one of the best years for Washington wine."
The growing season began with a cold and wet winter, and the weather stayed cool through bloom. However, the warmer weather came in mid-June, about two weeks or more later than in recent years. This caused the harvest to start late.
"In September, most growers picked very little fruit, which was a big change from the last few years," Stone said.
In the Columbia Valley, the weather in late September and October was warm and perfect for growing crops. This gave fruit plenty of time to ripen. This and the season's incredible start made the berries and clusters bigger, leading to a heavier crop.
"The spring of 2022 was a little bit of a nail-biter, but luckily we had a beautiful fall, which let the fruit ripen perfectly," Stone said.
Cabernet Sauvignon remained Washington's most popular type of wine. Chardonnay was second, making up 16% of the total with 39,450 tons. Over the previous year, sales of both varieties increased by 32% for Cabernet Sauvignon and 54% for Chardonnay. This was because of both the smaller harvest in 2021 and the bigger harvest in 2022. The top seven varieties were Riesling, Merlot, Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, and Pinot Gris.
The number of white varieties grew by 50%, while the number of red types grew by 23%. Several white varieties saw significant growth, like Pinot Gris, which grew by 70%, and Sauvignon Blanc, which grew by 54%. So, in 2022, 57% of all production came from red varieties, down from 62% in 2021.
Farmers got an average of $1,370 per ton, which is $90 less than the year before. The average price per ton paid for Cabernet Franc was $2,074.
About the Wine Commission of Washington State:
The Washington State Wine Commission (WSWC) represents every licensed winery and wine grape grower in Washington State. The Washington State Wine Commission (WSWC) is a marketing platform for the Washington wine industry run by a state government agency set up in 1987 by the legislature. The sector almost entirely pays for its axes on grape and wi taxes sales.
Visit www.washingtonwine.org to find out more.