1. Oregon wine industry poised for return to normal growing year

    OWB Blog (Jul 12 2012)

    1. Oregon wine industry poised for return to normal growing year

      Oregon’s $2.7 billion wine industry may be on the verge of pulling out of a two-year stretch of cooler than normal growing seasons and late harvests, according to growing degree days information recorded from the state’s winegrowing regions through June.

      Oregon’s winegrowers have been through two years of dicey growing conditions in 2010 and 2011. While both years have produced high quality wines, the late harvest both years required winegrowers and winemakers to call on all of their skills as they came down the home stretch to harvest. The 2011 crop, for instance, resulted in a record harvest of 41,500 tons and was dubbed the “miracle harvest” after early fall rains threatened to curtail the harvest before a prolonged Indian Summer arrived in October.

      Most wine regions of the state have experienced above normal growing degree days through June 30, according to Gregory V. Jones of the Southern Oregon University department of environmental studies and an internationally recognized wine climate authority. While recordings taken at McMinnville, Medford and Roseburg are ahead of the 30-year average, Milton-Freewater is only slightly below normal to date. And, while recordings for the month of July have not been reported, most of the state’s wine-growing regions have enjoyed dry warm weather.

      GDD have been volatile during the first three months of the growing season with March through May warmer than normal and June cooler and wetter than normal. Indications are that a transition to El Nino conditions in the tropical Pacific points to a dryer and warmer July-September period. 

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