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>>

  • LOOKING FOR A HOME? 10 Homes For Sale In Spokane For $125,000

    LOOKING FOR A HOME? 10 Homes For Sale In Spokane For $125,000

    Tuesday, April 15 2014 1:39 PM EDT2014-04-15 17:39:53 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Spring is a popular time to purchase and sell a home. Here are 10 homes for sale in Spokane for $125,000. These homes were found on www.WindermereSpokane.com. If you would like more information on any of these homes or would like to schedule a tour, contact your real estate agent with the correct MLS number.>>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Spring is a popular time to purchase and sell a home. Here are 10 homes for sale in Spokane for $125,000. These homes were found on www.WindermereSpokane.com. If you would like more information on any of these homes or would like to schedule a tour, contact your real estate agent with the correct MLS number.>>
  • UPDATE: PHOTOS Of Sex Offenders Who Live In Kootenai County

    UPDATE: PHOTOS Of Sex Offenders Who Live In Kootenai County

    Wednesday, February 26 2014 6:50 AM EST2014-02-26 11:50:17 GMT
    KHQ.COM - Do you know who lives next to you, or in your neighborhood? KHQ has teamed up with local law enforcement agencies to keep you updated on sex offenders that may be living close to you. The latest photos are from the Kootenai County Sheriff's Office website. All of the offenders have served their time and are not wanted by authorities.>>
    KHQ.COM - Do you know who lives next to you, or in your neighborhood? KHQ has teamed up with local law enforcement agencies to keep you updated on sex offenders that may be living close to you. The latest photos are from the Kootenai County Sheriff's Office website.>>
  • Toddler Gets Stuck Inside Claw Machine

    Toddler Gets Stuck Inside Claw Machine

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 9:54 AM EDT2014-04-16 13:54:15 GMT
    LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Authorities say a toddler has been reunited with his mother after employees found him playing inside a claw crane machine at a Nebraska bowling alley.>>
    LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Authorities say a toddler has been reunited with his mother after employees found him playing inside a claw crane machine at a Nebraska bowling alley.
    >>
  • Top Stories from KHQTop StoriesMore>>

  • FIRST ON KHQ: Spirit Lake On Lockdown; Suspicious Device Worries Authorities

    FIRST ON KHQ: Spirit Lake On Lockdown; Suspicious Device Worries Authorities

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 12:21 PM EDT2014-04-16 16:21:24 GMT
    From The Spirit Lake PD Facebook Page: This morning there was a suspicious item discovered in the area of Middle Ave in Spirit Lake. >>
    From The Spirit Lake PD Facebook Page: This morning there was a suspicious item discovered in the area of Middle Ave in Spirit Lake. SLPD and other agencies are investigating the incident and at this time are asking that all area residents stay in their home unless contacted by law enforcement and asked to evacuate.
    >>
  • SHRED DAY IS HERE!

    SHRED DAY IS HERE!

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 11:50 AM EDT2014-04-16 15:50:11 GMT
    KHQ.COM - Are you ready to SHRED? One of KHQ's most popular events is here: Shred Day!
    Once again we are partnering with AmericanWest Bank and Secure Shred, and it's your chance to safely dispose of any sensitive documents you might have hanging around the house.
    >>
    KHQ.COM - Are you ready to SHRED? One of KHQ's most popular events is here: Shred Day!
    Once again we are partnering with AmericanWest Bank and Secure Shred, and it's your chance to safely dispose of any sensitive documents you might have hanging around the house. We have three locations available for you to choose from between the hours of 6:00am and 6:30pm.
    >>
  • QUESTION FOR PARENTS: Dress Codes: Where Should Schools Set Limits?

    QUESTION FOR PARENTS: Dress Codes: Where Should Schools Set Limits?

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 11:49 AM EDT2014-04-16 15:49:23 GMT
    EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) - They're called leggings - popular tight-fitting pants that seem to be the favorite new target of the school dress code. Some schools have banned leggings outright.>>
    EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) - They're called leggings - popular tight-fitting pants that seem to be the favorite new target of the school dress code. Some schools have banned leggings outright.
    >>