Wine Chris Bitter

Chris Bitter, second from left, a wine economist at Vintage Economics, speaks about Washington state’s wine economy.

KENNEWICK, Wash. — Washington state wine industry leaders are encouraging growers and wineries to correct an imbalance in supply and demand by removing more vineyard acreage from production this year. Their message to grape growers is clear: many grapes could go without a buyer this year.

Wine business analysts say up to 30% of grapes went unharvested last year because of wet and freezing weather, and a lot of fruit wasn’t crushed for economic reasons, yet Washington vineyards still overproduced by about 41,250 tons, bringing down the price for producers as wineries sought to reduce their inventories.

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