Oregon's wine grape industry is tipping the scales. Production is up by a third from the year before with a record production year in 2011.
Oregon grew 41.500 tons of grapes last year. A vintage that will be remembered around Southern Oregon and around the west coast. Grapes are the largest fruit crop in the world and they're a big deal here. Especially that 2011 vintage. Oregon saw a 33 percent increase over 2010 production compared to wine grape production in 2011. Numbers that have toppled previous records. It didn't start this way. Two weeks before harvest time last year, grape growers faced some challenges . In the end it was a warm fall that allowed those grapes to stay on the vine longer. The smaller yields from a few years ago are what's in the bottle today and it's driving prices up for current wines.
Changing tastes and perceived health benefits are helping fuel the surge in demand for wine. While those bottle prices are expected to start increasing in 2012, they're not said to jump to those per-recession price tags.