WA State Experiencing Driest Winter Since 2000: How Will This Af - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

WA State Experiencing Driest Winter Since 2000: How Will This Affect Wine Growers?

Posted: Updated:
Arbor Crest Winery Arbor Crest Winery

SPOKANE, Wash. - The state of Washington is having its driest winter since 2000. Local wine growers here, however, are not worried about their crops.

"We're fortunate because most of our vineyards have good irrigation and the vines don't use a lot of water," said Jim van Loben Sels, who runs Spokane's Arbor Crest Wine Cellars. "When we come out of the spring, even if we don't have a lot of rainfall, we'll probably be looking pretty good."

In California, wine growers are facing extreme drought conditions in over 60% of the state and wine growers there are rightfully worried about their crops.

van Loben Sels explained that most farmers in Washington, however, "put their vines to bed" at the beginning of the winter so they are more fully irrigated and not as likely to be affected by a particularly dry winter.

And, since there is not usually excessive rainfall in Washington state, van Loben Sels is fairly confident his crops will fare well.

"For right now, we're confident with what happens in Washington, with already low rainfall, that we're going to have a great crop," he said.

In fact, when it is extra dry in the winter, van Loben Sels said wine growers sometimes produce higher quality wine for the spring season because the wine has less water and higher fruit concentrate.

van Loben Sels also said dealing with weather extremes is par for the course in the wine business.

"For the wine industry, it's mother nature, we're always dealing with the elements, you never know what hand you're going to be dealt, and you never know until the grapes come through the door," he said. "You just roll with it, and make the best wine you can."

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Stolen bike didn't roll away unnoticed

    Stolen bike didn't roll away unnoticed

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 10:31 AM EDT2014-08-20 14:31:01 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - When Paul Dannels finished his workout at the Downtown YMCA, he was surprised to see his bike was gone from the bike rack. "I was pretty upset, to be honest...mad, and discouraged, and depressed because I knew I couldn't replace it," said Dannels. A reporter for The Inlander happened to be at the YMCA when the bike was stolen.>>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - When Paul Dannels finished his workout at the Downtown YMCA, he was surprised to see his bike was gone from the bike rack. "I was pretty upset, to be honest...mad, and discouraged, and depressed because I knew I couldn't replace it," said Dannels. A reporter for The Inlander happened to be at the YMCA when the bike was stolen.
    >>
  • Another American hostage at risk by Islamic State after U.S. journalist beheaded

    Another American hostage at risk by Islamic State after U.S. journalist beheaded

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 10:15 AM EDT2014-08-20 14:15:08 GMT
    WASHINGTON (AP) - Militants with the Islamic State extremist group have beheaded American journalist James Foley and are threatening to kill another hostage in retaliation for U.S. air strikes in northern Iraq. The White House must now weigh the risks of adopting an aggressive policy to destroy the Islamic State against resisting any action that could result in the death of another American.>>
    WASHINGTON (AP) - Militants with the Islamic State extremist group have beheaded American journalist James Foley and are threatening to kill another hostage in retaliation for U.S. air strikes in northern Iraq. The White House must now weigh the risks of adopting an aggressive policy to destroy the Islamic State against resisting any action that could result in the death of another American.>>
  • HEALTH ALERT: Peanut butter recall for salmonella

    HEALTH ALERT: Peanut butter recall for salmonella

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 9:50 AM EDT2014-08-20 13:50:34 GMT
    KHQ.COM - The FDA announced a peanut butter recall on August 19th. nSpired Natural Foods, Inc. is voluntarily recalling certain retail lots of Arrowhead Mills® Peanut Butters, MaraNatha® Almond Butters and Peanut Butters and specific private label nut butters packaged in glass and plastic jars because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. >>>LINK TO RECALL LIST INSIDE>>>>>
    KHQ.COM - The FDA announced a peanut butter recall on August 19th. nSpired Natural Foods, Inc. is voluntarily recalling certain retail lots of Arrowhead Mills® Peanut Butters, MaraNatha® Almond Butters and Peanut Butters and specific private label nut butters packaged in glass and plastic jars because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. >>>LINK TO RECALL LIST INSIDE>>>
    >>
  • Top Stories from KHQTop StoriesMore>>

  • Father of Rebecca West speaks about potential release of Michael Tarbert: 'It's been a living hell'

    Father of Rebecca West speaks about potential release of Michael Tarbert: 'It's been a living hell'

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 7:32 PM EDT2014-08-20 23:32:40 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Michael West cannot believe that the man suspected of killing his daughter Rebecca may once again walk the streets of Spokane.“It's very unacceptable to me,” West told KHQ. >>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Michael West cannot believe that the man suspected of killing his daughter Rebecca may once again walk the streets of Spokane.“It's very unacceptable to me,” West told KHQ. “A 55-year-old man is able to go home to his family, and my daughter can't come home to her mother. I'm very surprised.” West says his daughter's death destroyed his family. >>
  • Wheat farmers taking a double hit as prices drop and weather takes its toll

    Wheat farmers taking a double hit as prices drop and weather takes its toll

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 7:29 PM EDT2014-08-20 23:29:24 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Experts with the Washington Grain Commission say wheat production is at its lowest since 2008. Glen Squires with the Washington Grain Commission says the current average price per bushel of wheat is around $6.20 down from last year's price at $7.53. Dry conditions in Eastern Washington is also taking its toll on wheat farmers. >>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Experts with the Washington Grain Commission say wheat production is at its lowest since 2008. Glen Squires with the Washington Grain Commission says the current average price per bushel of wheat is around $6.20 down from last year's price at $7.53. Dry conditions in Eastern Washington is also taking its toll on wheat farmers. >>
  • CAUGHT ON VIDEO: Lightning strike nearly hits Hayden woman

    CAUGHT ON VIDEO: Lightning strike nearly hits Hayden woman

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 7:14 PM EDT2014-08-20 23:14:57 GMT
    HAYDEN, Idaho- A Hayden woman says her mother is extremely lucky to be alive after a bolt of lightning struck a foot away from her. It happened Tuesday evening when a storm system rolled through, bringing lightning, thunder, rain and hail.>>
    HAYDEN, Idaho- A Hayden woman says her mother is extremely lucky to be alive after a bolt of lightning struck a foot away from her. It happened Tuesday evening when a storm system rolled through, bringing lightning, thunder, rain and hail.>>