Washington’s 2018 wine grape harvest is the second largest ever

SEATTLE, Wash. – Washington state’s wine grape harvest grew by 14 percent last year, becoming the second largest harvest in Washington’s history.

According to the Washington State Wine’s Annual Grape Production Report, a total of 261,000 tons of grapes were crushed in 2018. That’s less than 10,000 tons behind the record-breaking 270,000 tons harvested in 2016.

Cabernet Sauvignon topped the list of varieties produced with a record-breaking 74,400 tons, making up nearly 30 percent of the total harvest.

“Cabernet Sauvignon is absolutely skyrocketing. Its production has more than doubled in just six years,” said Steve Warner, President of Washington State Wine.

Chardonnay was the second most produced variety, capturing 16 percent of the total harvest, followed by Merlot, Riesling, and Syrah.

In all, red wines made up nearly 60 percent of the crop. Red wines also saw a favorable increase last year, with a 10 percent compound annual growth rate over the last five years.

“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,” Warner said. “We’re excited to see how the 2018 wines come together — it could be a real blockbuster vintage for Washington.”

Part of the success had to do with the weather. The warm spring and hot summer followed by cooler temperatures in the fall made for a long harvest season and ideal conditions for ripening.

You can find Washington State Wine’s detailed reports here.

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