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Wednesday, Jul. 20, 2011

Oregon mid-season crop report

PORTLAND -- The Oregon Wine Board released a mid-season crop report that has much of the state, especially in the Southern Oregon appellation, optimistic this vintage can approach levels of 2010 despite a less-than-ideal spring and early summer.

In the Willamette Valley, bloom was late by about a week to 10 days compared to last year.

In early blooming areas, bloom was fast and done in a few days. In later blooming areas, bloom has been prolonged and is still continuing. The earlier areas have gone though bloom and set is under way. While winegrowers don’t expect the crop to catch up to last year, they are hopeful that a hot or even warm fall will produce an excellent finish by harvest, which is now expected around Oct. 15.

In Southern Oregon, bloom began in late June and set occurred about July 10. Temperatures have been near ideal, in the 80s and 90s.

While the crop is a few days behind last year, overall it is looking much better at this time. A year ago, Southern Oregon experienced poor weather through bloom and significant frost damage. Warm temperatures in June and July have helped the crop catch up to last year and it may even be a bit ahead, but still behind “normal.” The crop remains on track for a strong harvest.

In Eastern Oregon, the crop continues to catch up to its late start and is about a week behind last year. Bloom was completed in two days and set is well under way. Based on flowering dates, harvest is estimated about Oct. 20. Hot or warm weather into the fall could make all the different on how the 2010 vintage ultimately performs. Winegrowers that this is a crop that may required patience so as not to pick too early in the fall.

For more information on the report, contact Michelle Mayall of the Oregon Wine Board at michelle@oregonwine.org or 503-228-8336.