SEATTLE (March 4, 2014) — Washington State’s wine industry continues to grow, with a record‐breaking harvest in 2013, reported the United States Department of Agriculture on Monday. The USDA’s annual grape crush report showed the state’s 2013 grape production totaled 210,000 tons, a 12 percent increase from 2012 and the largest harvest the state has ever seen.
“This is an exciting time for our industry,” said Steve Warner, president of Washington State Wine, which represents every licensed winery and grape grower in the state. “Wine critics and consumers alike are recognizing the consistent quality of Washington State wine, and we’re responding to that. Grape tonnage has increased steadily since 2011, and as more acreage comes into production, we expect this will be the trend for some time.”
Overall, production of red varieties grew 13 percent from 2012, compared to a 10 percent increase in the production of white varieties. Of the top four producing varieties, Cabernet Sauvignon showed the largest increase, up 19 percent from the previous year for a total of 42,600 tons. This was the first time since 2010 that production of Cabernet Sauvignon grapes was higher than Chardonnay.
Chardonnay was the second‐largest variety in 2013, with 40,500 tons. In third place was Riesling with 40,100 tons. Merlot ranked fourth with 36,000 tons.
The 2013 vintage in Washington State—the country’s second-largest premium wine producing state—was marked by a warm growing season, which accelerated harvest. However, a drop in temperatures beginning in mid-‐September slowed the remainder of the growing season, extending it into November. Wine lovers can look for powerful, intense wines from this vintage.
Additional 2013 Key Harvest Documents
About the Washington State Wine Commission: The Washington State Wine Commission (WSWC) represents every licensed winery and wine grape grower in Washington State. Guided by an appointed board, WSWC provides a marketing platform to raise positive awareness about the Washington wine industry and generate greater demand for its wines. Funded almost entirely by the industry through assessments based on grape and wine sales, WSWC is a state government agency, established by the legislature in 1987. To learn more, visit www.washingtonwine.org.
MEDIA CONTACT: Heather Bradshaw, Communications Director, Washington State Wine Commission (206) 495-5844, or [email protected].