Good Fruit Grower

February 2013

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Viticulture Bulk wine prices STAY STRONG Wineries are barely able to meet the appetite for Washington wines. by Geraldine Warner ashington wine producers can expect strong prices for red bulk wines for the next several years, Josh Maloney, winemaker with Wahluke Wine Company in Mattawa, Washington, said during a grower caucus last November. He attributes strengthening prices to smaller than expected wine grape crops in the last couple of years, along with increasing demand because of the entry of E. & W. Gallo into the Washington industry. Wahluke Wine Company is a bulk winery owned by Butch and Jerry Milbrandt. It is a separate company from Milbrandt Vineyards. It takes only about 10 to 15 percent of the Milbrandt grapes, which it makes into wine for the Milbrandt label. In 2012, the company also took in 11,500 tons of grapes to make wine for other customers. About 80 to 90 percent of the volume was allocated to its customers by the time the grapes were harvested, and only about 10 to 20 percent was unallocated and available on the bulk market. About 5 percent of the company's bulk wine sales goes Josh Maloney outside Washington. Generally, lower-tier bulk red wines go on the market six to nine months after the vintage, and higher-priced reds 12 months after the vintage, Maloney said. White wines become available three to four months after the vintage concludes. Washington produced 140,000 tons of red and white wine grapes in 2011, down from 160,000 tons in 2010. High volume In January 2012, there was still a fair amount of 2010 red wine on the market, but when buyers saw how light the 2011 red grape crop was, bulk wineries started getting lots of rane and Honeybear have been collaborating on sales and production and are now looking to expand their program. If you want a warehouse that "exceeds your expectations" with solid management and returns, please call. We are currently organizing our plans for the 2013 crop. C Jim Divis @ 509-733-1605 or Rachel Crane Sullivan @ 509-733-1334 26 FEBRUARY 1, 2013 GOOD FRUIT GROWER

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