Publisher’s Note: One of the shining stars in the US wine scene is Washington’s Walla Walla Valley. We’ve had a chance to tour their wineries (see our winery reports page) and were impressed with the great quality and value. Looks like another great vintage is on the way.
WALLA WALLA, WA- The consensus among Walla Walla Valley winemakers is that this will be a vintage to remember. According to Duane Wollmuth, executive director, Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance, “nearly every winemaker I have talked to has said the temperatures and extended lack of rainfall have created near perfect conditions for producing wine grapes. We had three months without rain and plenty of warm temperatures. These late spring and summertime conditions, along with a normal cool down in September and October has produced small berry size, well ripened fruit, and excellent acidity.”
Not only did the year’s growing conditions produce exceptional grape quality, but quantities were up as well. A survey of Walla Walla Vintners found that wineries processed as much as two to three times more than they had in 2011. In fact, early estimates put the Washington State grape harvest up 30% from 2011’s smaller crop.
This comes at an excellent time for Washington wineries as they face rapidly increasing global demand for their wines. According to Wollmuth, “this will create a rare opportunity for our wineries to meet more of the ever increasing demand for the high quality wines our valley has become known for. Of course, we all know that the 2012 vintage wines are still dependent upon what our winemakers in the valley do with these great grapes. I am confident, however, that given their track record for producing great wines, our winemakers will make the most of the high quality grapes grown throughout Washington this year.”
The Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance is a non-profit wine industry membership organization. More information about the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance can be found at www.wallawallawine.com.