Washington wineries and growers reported strong double-digit growth in wine grape harvests during 2022, according to a report by the Washington State Wine Commission. The commission represents licensed winery and wine grape growers in Washington.
The annual Grape Production Report said that 240,000 tons of wine grapes were harvested in 2022 — an increase of 34% compared with the previous year.
Late September and October brought nearly unprecedented warm weather and ideal growing conditions throughout the Columbia Valley, the report noted. This allowed for plenty of time for the fruit to ripen, and, along with the cool start to the season, ultimately contributed to bigger berries and clusters and, therefore, a heavier crop overall.
Cabernet Sauvignon remained steady as Washington’s top variety at 67,015 tons and 28% of total production. Chardonnay was second at 39,450 tons or 16% of the total. Both varieties showed significant increases over the previous year: 32% for Cabernet Sauvignon and 54% for Chardonnay. Riesling, Merlot, Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc, and Pinot Gris rounded out the top seven varieties, which altogether equated to 88% of the crop, according to the report.
White varieties experienced a 50% increase while red varieties grew by 23%. Several white varieties experienced a significant increase, specifically Pinot Gris, which grew by 70%, and Sauvignon Blanc, which grew by 54%. As a result, red varieties accounted for 57% of total production in 2022, versus 62% in 2021, according to the report.