Long dry spell boosts Oregon grape harvest

Long dry spell boosts Oregon grape harvest

JUNCTION CITY, Ore. - As vintner Robin Pfeiffer dips his hand into a container of fermenting grapes, he can't help but fall hard for the rich taste.

"The wine that makes the whole world just drop to its knees and go 'oh my God, ooh la la,' that's what we want everybody to bring home," Pfeiffer said.

An experienced vintner and owner of Pfeiffer Vineyards, Robin harvests on average 150 tons of grapes a year on his 70 acre vineyard.

Pfeiffer clearly recalls the dampered harvests from the last two soggy fall seasons.

"It was so cool and rainy up until clear through the end of October," Pfeiffer recalled.

But this year, a dry and toasty forecast helped keep the grapes healthy.

"Every grape and every berry was excellent," Pfeiffer said.

Though the crop is on the lighter side this year, Pfeiffer said that's not necessarily a bad thing.

"A lighter crop, if the weather is all aligned, equates to a better quality of grapes," Pfeiffer said.

Pfeiffer's grapes are currently fermenting for now, and will soon be placed in barrels for aging.

Though the Pfeiffers' won't know for sure about the quality until after the grapes are fermented, Robin said he has a pretty good feeling about Oregon's grape harvest this year.

"One last parting word on the vintage this year - France and Burgundy better watch out. We're on our way and we're coming right at you," Pfeiffer said.

Ninety percent of the state of Oregon's grapes have been harvested. A sample of wine from this year's harvest can be tasted in early January.