Yakima Valley wineries expect full harvest this season

ZILLAH, Wash. -- This mild winter is good news for wineries in the Yakima Valley. Little to no crops have been damaged for them so far.

The sun is out and the vineyards are in good shape. Wineries said it's the perfect combination of not too warm and not too cold.

"I haven't talked to any grower of anything so far that has recorded any winter injury and that's a good thing," said Paradisos Del Sol co-owner Paul Vandenberg.

Keeping these crops from damage is a big part of helping our local economy. And mother nature is on our side so far. Farmers said the demand for grapes is strong this season.

"There's going to be an increase demand for our grapes because those farmers back in Pennsylvania and New York are having crop loss," said Paul.

But a sudden change in temperature could make things go south quickly. Some farmers worry about the dry grounds right now. If it gets too cold, the soil could freeze and kill the roots.

Wineries said snow is a source of insulation to keep these roots from freezing, but even though it hasn't snowed yet, vines haven't hit the danger zone.

"Should we go to ten below zero with no snow cover, it could be bad," said Bonair Winery owner Gail Puryear.

"If we get a week of 50 degree weather and the nights don't go below freezing and the soil starts warming up, plants start thinking it's spring and they start coming to life and then we get a cold spell Bam!" said Paul.

Wineries said moderately cold temperatures help vines build a thicker skin that protects them from extreme weather.