Record-breaking warm weather brings early Oregon wine harvest - KPTV - FOX 12

Record-breaking warm weather brings early Oregon wine harvest

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HILLSBORO, OR (KPTV) -

Record-breaking temperatures are having a major impact on Oregon wineries, but don’t worry, it's not bad news, it’s just very unusual.
 
At the Oak Knoll Winery in Hillsboro, head winemaker Jeff Herinckx says this is the first season in his career that the harvest is done before October. His team started picking on Sept. 8 and they finished on Monday.
 
“I’ve never seen it. I’ve been here 32 years and I’ve never seen this," he said. 
 
With very little rain and record heat early in the summer, Herinckx says he knew in June they’d be harvesting early this year. He said that’s good news.
 
Herinckx said dodging a big autumn soaking means less risk of rot and mold on the grapes.
 
“It makes it more like a hotter climate – California or eastern Washington," he said. “A type of wine that has lower acid and a higher PH.”
 
But instead of a new normal, Herinckx believes this season’s weather was likely just a fluke. So, he’s keeping his rain gear handy for next year’s harvest.
 
“It’s not a guarantee because you don’t know what Mother Nature’s going to do," he said. "It could start raining and not stop in Oregon.”

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