Tag Archives: Washington State Wine Commission

Washington State reports record wine grape harvest in 2016

Cabernet Sauvignon is leading grape variety with 26-percent of total harvest

SEATTLE (March 1, 2017) – Washington State’s wine grape harvest hit a new record in 2016, according to the Washington State Wine Commission’s Annual Grape Production Report. The report, compiled with information provided by all Washington State wineries, showed the 2016 harvest totaled 270,000 tons, a 22-percent increase over the previous year. Tonnage in 2015 was down a little compared to the previous record harvest of 227,000 tons in 2014, making the 2016 harvest the biggest ever in Washington State’s history.

Red varieties produced more tons than white, with 58-percent of the harvest. Production of red varieties showed a substantial increase of 39-percent over the previous year, compared to a 3-percent increase of white varieties. The largest share of this growth was Cabernet Sauvignon, with an increase of 23,700 tons over the previous year.

“We attribute the significant growth of our red varieties, especially Cabernet Sauvignon, to a number of positive outcomes in 2016 compared with the previous year,” said Steve Warner, president of the Washington State Wine Commission, which represents every licensed winery and grape grower in the state. “The 2016 harvest was the result of a near-perfect growing season and higher than expected grape yields. Also driving growth is the fact that new vineyard plantings are beginning to produce fruit – a trend we expect will continue in the coming years.”

Cabernet Sauvignon was the state’s top producing variety at 71,100 tons or 26-percent of the total, while Merlot was ranked second at 48,400 tons or 18-percent of the total. Chardonnay was the top white grape and third overall at 45,000 tons, while Riesling was right behind it at 41,300 tons. A sign of further growth, Washington State surpassed 900 winery licenses in 2016.

Wine grape growers received an average of $1,157 per ton for all varieties in 2016, an increase of $12 over the previous year. Of all the published varieties, Malbec received the highest average price per ton at $1,587.

 “2016 was a year for the record books,” Warner said. “Not only did we see our biggest harvest ever – but it was a great harvest. The weather in Eastern Washington cooled down a bit to extend the growing season and allow the grapes some extra time to mature on the vine. Our growers and winemakers are extremely excited about these wines.”

Available online:


About the Washington State Wine Commission:
The Washington State Wine Commission represents every licensed winery and wine grape grower in Washington State. Guided by an appointed board, WSWC provides a marketing platform to raise positive awareness of the Washington State wine industry and generate greater demand for its wines. Funded almost entirely by the industry through assessments based on grape and wine sales, WSW is a state government agency, established by the legislature in 1987. To learn more, visit www.washingtonwine.org.

This Weekend’s Taste Washington Event Joins Forces with Red Cross to Assist in Mudslide Disaster Relief

Taste Washington IIEvent producers of Taste Washington will tap the generosity of some 4,000 event patrons who attend the largest single-region wine and food event in the nation this weekend.

Visit Seattle and the Washington State Wine Commission, which partner to produce the event, are facilitating American Red Cross of Snohomish County cash collection stations on the show floor; 100 percent of these donations will go directly to the mud slide disaster victims.

The 17th annual Taste Washington event takes place this Saturday and Sunday, March 29-30, from 1-5 p.m. at CenturyLink Event Center. It includes more than 229 Washington State wineries and 68 restaurants and draws attendance from across state and nation, as well as international guests.

“As we celebrate our state’s unique food and wine offerings, our hearts are burdened and troubled by the tragedy in Oso,” said Tom Norwalk, President & CEO of Visit Seattle. “We know our generous and compassionate partners and attendees will do everything they can to assist.”

“Each year our community comes together at this time for a great event, but this year there is a need and opportunity to join together and do all we can to support those affected by this tragedy.” voiced Steve Warner, President and CEO of the Washington State Wine Commission.

All American Red Cross cash contributions from this event will remain in Washington, offering care and guidance to affected families as they begin to move forward with their long-term recovery. Donations may also be made to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund by texting REDCROSS to 90999 to give $10, or donate other amounts to the fund by visiting www.redcross.org. Each yearthe American Red Cross immediately responds to about 70,000 natural and man-made disasters in the U.S., ranging from fires to hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, hazardous materials spills, transportation accidents and explosions. These vital disaster relief funds are immediately available in times of disaster, such as the Oso mudslide.

To learn more about this weekend’s Taste Washington event, visit www.tastewashington.org.