Oregon's wine harvest hit a record last year, in spite of gloomy predictions during a wet spell in early October 2011.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has released official numbers, indicating Oregon harvested 41,500 tons of grapes. That’s a big jump from the down year of 2010, and a modest increase over the last record harvest, in 2009.
Charles Humble directs marketing at the Oregon Wine Board.
Humble explained, "Well, we actually refer to the 2011 harvest as sort of the ‘Miracle Harvest’ because it got kind of a rocky start, in early October. But the weather really came around, and we had excellent and ideal conditions for the remainder of the harvest, which went as deep as into November, which is somewhat unusual."
The harvest is not as high as some boosters predicted last November, when a 45,000 ton harvest was considered within reach.
Humble says the big harvest doesn't have a direct correlation to quality. But he says having more grapes does allow winemakers more flexibility, as they turn the harvest into wine.