Washington wines

Anna King

Washington state is setting traps to learn if four species of moths that attack wine grapes have moved into Washington.

Washington is the second-largest grape-growing state in the nation, but vineyards could be damaged if certain species of moths appear.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Washington winemakers are hitting the road in an effort to court upwardly mobile city dwellers while they’re still developing their taste for wine. And they’re taking their show on the road in increasingly flashy style.

Anna King

Wine grapes throughout the Northwest are ripening faster this year because of the hot dry summer. Vineyard managers and winemakers are preparing for a breakneck harvest over the next few weeks—that is, if it stays warm.

This year, eastern Washington had record-setting heat in July, while Oregon had consistently warm weather. Growers throughout the Northwest are hoping for cooler temperatures so the grapes don’t race to ripeness.

RICHLAND, Wash. – This holiday season, Northwest winemakers are hoping to expand their customer base with a new sales venue. Seattle’s online shopping giant Amazon.com is now shipping wine.

Tom Hedges is co-founder of Hedges Family Estate on Red Mountain in southeast Washington. He says his family has only been selling wine on Amazon.com for about a week. It will take a few months to truly see if selling bottles through the site will actually pencil out.

Hedges doesn’t think there will be a lot of overlap with already established customers.

BENTON CITY, Wash. – Northwest winemakers say they’re optimistic that 2012 will turn out to be a great vintage. Many of the region’s red wine grapes are just on the edge of starting to change color and ripen. The timing of this color change is a good indication of the coming harvest’s quality.

Scott Williams is a pretty jovial guy. But get this Red Mountain wine grower in the middle of some color-changing grapes and he’s just giddy.

It’s a hot summer day at his Kiona Vineyard. We wade into an undulating sea of bright green Lemberger vines.

Dan Klimpke / Flickr

YAKIMA, Wash. — Washington's wine industry is marking a new milestone with word that the world's largest privately-owned winery has bought two longtime Washington brands.

E. & J. Gallo Winery announced the purchase of Columbia Winery and Covey Run Wine from Ascentia Wine Estates on Monday. The price was not disclosed.

Matt Long / Flickr

YAKIMA, Wash. — A new study shows the Washington wine industry contributes $8.6 billion to the state's economy and creates nearly 30,000 jobs.

SEATTLE — The executive director of the Washington Wine Commission plans to leave her post at the end of the year.

Robin Pollard said in a statement Thursday that she is excited to pursue businesses opportunities of her own after six years with the commission.

David Lytle / Flickr

RICHLAND, Wash. – Northwest wineries are working harder than ever just to keep sales flat. That's what winery owners and market experts are saying as wine lovers gather this weekend for the Columbia Valley's Catch the Crush event.

"We pay our bills," one winery owner told me. "There’s a lot of extra wine out there," said another.

RICHLAND, Wash. – A Northwest wine science center is moving closer to reality with the promise of money from the industry and private donors. The center would be part of Washington State University located on the Tri-Cities campus.

Plenty of people study wine grapes and wine around the world. But each region is different and has different challenges in growing and producing top rated wine. That's why the Northwest wine industry wants a place to research, teach and learn of its own.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

RICHLAND, Wash. – Northwest wine grape growers are sure hoping their grapes hurry up. The countdown is on until the first freeze when grapes will lose their leaves and stop ripening. And certain red varietals need more sun-time than others to be ready for the bottle.