Wine Grapes Good But Growers Concerned About Cherries
Growers at more than 40 wineries up and down the Yakima Valley are watering grape vines more in this heat but there's no big concern about the heat like the concern of cherry growers. Barb Glover of Wine Yakima Valley says the heat actually helps the vines but when it gets too hot the grapes basically shut down and stop growing. She says however that doesn't impact the grapes and the vines continue to grow. With this heat wave there's some concern about sunburn but no widespread damage is expected says Glover. Wine grape growers are increasing irrigation to keep the vines wet but so far Glover says growers report that the vines are holding up well and not suffering adverse effects because of the heat thanks to the pro-active stance of the valley's experienced growers.
Glover says many growers thought about a heat wave when they were buying their property and when they were building wineries so many of the heat concerns and how they impact wine grapes have already been addressed in the local wine industry.
But this heat is a different story for area cherry growers.
Cherry growers are very concerned about the harvest which is happening at the same time as this heat wave in the Pacific Northwest. Growers are using sprinkler and large tents and canopies to shield cherries and workers from the sun. The President of the Washington State Fruit Commission B.J. Thurlby says so far so good. He says the cherries look good and are full of sugar. The concern for cherry growers is that the cherries will get sunburn and dry out the reason why growers are doing everything they can to complete the harvest as soon as possible.