By MITCH LIES
Despite challenging conditions brought on by wet weather, Oregon wine grape production grew 33 percent in 2011 to a record high 41,500 tons, according to USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service.
The previous record, established in 2009, was 40,200 tons.
Total production was just 31,200 tons in 2010.
Oregon wine grape production has climbed relatively steadily since the 1980s, when growers were harvesting less than 7,000 tons.
Growers harvested 18,600 tons in 2000.
The recently released report shows harvested acres increased from 16,900 in 2010 to 17,500 in 2011. Planted acreage, meanwhile, dropped from 20,500 to 20,400.
"Growers reported many challenges this season, including powdery mildew, botrytis bunch rot, deer and birds," NASS wrote in the report. "Most disrupting of all was the weather. Spring came late and summer never heated up ... but heavy pruning and favorable fall weather led to a quality crop."
"The consensus was that 2011 will be a memorable vintage," NASS wrote.
The federal statistics service did not conduct a winery survey this year due to funding constraints.