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Cool Spring And Fall Could Jeopardize ’08 Wine Vintage


Northwest winemakers are a bit nervous. That’s because a cool spring has been followed by a cool end of summer. Richland correspondent Anna King reports.


Wine grape growers are slashing fruit off the vines. They are hoping that cutting down some of the bunches will sweeten-up the remaining grapes quicker.

Ingo Grady is with Mission Hills Winery in Okanagan Valley. He has just a month and a half to harvest Cabernet, Syrah and Cab Franc grapes before the cold weather hits.

Ingo Grady: "So that doesn’t give us a lot of time."

A late and small harvest means less money for growers, but it could be good news for connoisseurs.

Paul Champoux grows Columbia Valley grapes for some of the Northwest’s top labels. He thinks ’08 could turn into a superb vintage, maybe even like the fabled ’99.

Paul Champoux: "It will be interesting to see what this vintage turns out because of the Mother Nature we got this year."

Still, Washington winemakers say they are most worried about ripening up their Cabernet. That’s one of the last varieties to be picked.

Oregon grape growers are hoping for a dry fall that won’t rot their pinot noir.