- Natural Resource Report - https://naturalresourcereport.com -

Wildfire smoke cause 29% grape harvest drop

[1]
By Oregon Family Farm Association [2]

Oregon vintners in 2020 harvested its smallest crop of grapes in seven years and saw production and sales drop accordingly.

According to the Portland Business Journal, the grape harvest last year was 29 percent lower than in 2019, partly due to wildfire smoke. The harvest of 75,000 tons reflected a drop of 24 percent in the yield per acre, the annual Oregon Vineyard and Winery Report showed. Some growers left grapes tainted by wildfire smoke unharvested.

Oregon’s pinot noir production dropped 40 percent to just under 37,000 tons, and the price also reflected a 12 percent reduction. Covid-19 also caused tasting room sales to plunge as wineries curbed their open hours or closed entirely to the public.

A glimmer of good news showed wine club, internet, and phone orders filled part of the gap and international sales increased, which boosted total wine sales in 2020 over the previous year by 30,000 cases. Total sales—just $700 million—increased $26 million over 2019.