As we are entering the final stretch of the grape growing season, the growers and wineries of Washington State have published their projected harvest numbers. Below are the top key points:
- Total estimated crop is 20% below last year due to a freeze kill this winter – 128K tons vs 160K tons in 2010 – this is the equivalent of 1.8M cases
- Red are more affected than whites – reds down 26%, whites down 8%
- Among reds, major loser is Cabernet Sauvignon (-39%) and all major red varietals are down
- Among whites, major loser is Chardonnay (-17%) and somewhat Riesling (-13%). Pinot Gris is actually projected a good 20% above 2010 due to speculative planting putting pressure on Pinot Gris prices
- Looking at the future, 2012 could be as high as 176K tons, 10% higher than 2010 – so there is no long term shortage
Overall this is a pretty decent projection. We should not see any major shortage except Cabernet Sauvignon. If the weather stays above 90F until mid-September we could actually have a stellar vintage with low crop and mild temperatures -> Perfect!