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Walla Walla Valley winemakers report excellent grape quality in early 2015 harvest

November 12, 2015

WALLA WALLA, WA – Walla Walla Valley winemakers are calling the 2015 wine grape harvest the earliest on record. According to a post-harvest survey sent to Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance member wineries, the earliest first day of harvest was August 14 and the latest last day of harvest was October 30. Few wineries said they processed grapes past October 20.

“Wineries are normally harvesting grapes well into October and November,” said Duane Wollmuth, Executive Director of the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance, “but even with the early harvest, Walla Walla Valley winemakers are very pleased with the quality of the 2015 grapes.”

Nearly all survey respondents (96-percent) reported the overall quality of the grapes processed by their winery from the Walla Walla Valley wine region to be either Above Average or Exceptional. Of the numerous wine grape varieties harvested from the Walla Walla Valley, it was the big three – Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot – that winemakers felt did the best in 2015.

One survey respondent described the grapes as “smaller berries with concentrated flavors,” and another said the wines have “good color and flavor.”

The last couple of years have been record-breaking in terms of grape tonnage, but this year 40-percent of survey respondents reported that total tonnage per acre harvested was down.

“We had an unusually hard freeze last November and a very hot summer, which had some effect on the crop,” Wollmuth said. “Still, we’re thrilled with the overall outcome this year – and we can’t wait to taste the 2015 wines.”

About the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance
The Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance is a non-profit wine industry membership organization whose mission is the marketing of the Walla Walla Valley’s American Viticulture Area (AVA). The Wine Alliance functions as the leading informational resource for consumers, media and trade interested in learning more about the Valley’s wine industry.

Media Contacts:
Duane Wollmuth 
Executive Director, Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance 
duane@wallawallawine.com | (509) 526-3117 office

Heather Bradshaw
Communications & Marketing Manager, Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance heather@wallawallawine.com | (509) 526-3117 office