Crops right on schedule for wineries in Yakima Valley

YAKIMA COUNTY, Wash. -- All this sunshine and heat is giving wineries reason to cheer this summer. So far, crops are right on schedule. The best part of this whole thing is that there's possibly more wine coming your way.

The clear skies and beautiful sunshine is what the wine makers like to see when they're growing their crops.

"If you got high humidity, the higher the humidity, the higher the temperature," said Tanjuli Winery Manager Roger Althoff. "It'll actually make it blossom."

And right now is the prime time to plant new vines before it gets too hot. With weather under the triple digits so far, crops have been on track to harvest.

"If you get way over like a hundred and something degrees things slow down but right now it's just perfect, they're happy," said Roger.

Wineries said May to early June is the time to plant vines. Tanjuli Winery has planted 400 so far this year. It took up a quarter acre. They're introducing ten new grapes. Four that have been produced will be released next year.

Folks like Carl Storms drove over 200 miles just to get a taste.

"We come back for new wines and so it's something we plan at least every year, every other year," said Carl Storms.

The hot weather also helps prevent mildew on the crops. Crops harvest in late September, but mostly in October.

Business has gone up this year compared to last and prices have generally stayed about the same.

"Even in bad times, people will still go out and enjoy a glass of wine," said Roger.

It's a commodity that continues to help boost the local economy. The heat also helps the grapes get sweeter.