- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 3, 2016

CALDWELL, Idaho (AP) - Weather in 2015 made for a smaller wine grape harvest in Idaho, which officials say could affect production of some favored wine varieties.

Total wine grape tonnage in Idaho was down by almost 50 percent in 2015, according to The Capital Press of Salem, Oregon, (https://bit.ly/1Qck1KB).

According to the Idaho Wine Commission the smaller harvest will lead to a limited production of merlot, viognier and chardonnay varietals this year.

Officials say higher temperatures, an early first frost and mildew from rapid cooling and summer rain hurt crops, particularly in southern Idaho. Northern Idaho vineyards were not as affected and tonnage at northern vineyards was close to average.

Melissa Sanborn, owner of Colter’s Creek Winery and Vineyards near Lewiston, said northern Idaho vineyards didn’t have the frost damage their southern counterparts saw. She said generally reds did better than white wine grapes as it was so warm.

Despite the smaller crop, Huston Vineyards owner Gregg Alger said the quality of grapes was better than usual this year as the warmer weather provided more growing-temperature days.

“The fruit was quality. We were just very limited in how much we had,” he said. “We were down volume-wise … but we have some varietals that did really, really well.”


Information from: The Capital Press (Ore.), https://www.capitalpress.com/washington

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