Washington wine grape harvest officially begins

By on September 2, 2014
Harvesting grapes on the Wahluke Slope.

A crew works a mechanical harvester at a vineyard on the western edge of the Wahluke Slope during harvest 2013. (Photo by Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine)

While a few hundred tons were picked last week and even this weekend, today is the official start of the 2014 Washington wine grape harvest.

Usually, winemakers prefer to start harvest after Labor Day – partly to let the grapes develop flavors and partly to get that last three-day weekend in before the 60-day sprint to Halloween, when the vast majority of the grapes will be harvested and crushed.

This year’s harvest is expected to be a record 230,000 tons, up at least 10 percent over last year’s record 218,000 tons.

As harvest officially gets under way, we take a look back at a few photos we took during the 2013 harvest.

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About Andy Perdue

Andy Perdue is founding partner of Great Northwest Wine LLC and a longtime wine columnist. He is a third-generation journalist who has worked at newspapers since the mid-1980s and has been writing about wine since 1998. He co-founded Wine Press Northwest magazine with Eric Degerman and served as its editor-in-chief for 15 years. He is the author of "The Northwest Wine Guide: A Buyer's Handbook" (Sasquatch, 2003) and has contributed to four other books.

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