PORTLAND - Oregon winemakers are ready to raise a glass to this year's harvest, that looks like one for the record books.
At Ponzi Vineyards in Beaverton, workers are about halfway thought the harvest. They'll be wrapping up soon, just before the weather changes from this dry spell and the rains return.
It has been one of the driest seasons on record. Not a trace of measurable rain in the past 30 days.
The grapes are ripe for picking. Workers begin harvesting at first light before the sun gets too warm for them and the berries.
In the processing center, the grapes make their way to pressing, then fermenting, to create what some are calling the best harvest in Oregon's 50-year wine industry.
This is welcome news for an industry that's face more than a few challenge during the past few seasons.
"It's quite the opposite this year, where we're picking in this beautiful sunshine, the grapes are ready to go, we've got great acid from our cool nights and balanced with the heat from the days. We've got sugar and acid that's perfect," said Maria Ponzi, Marketing Director for her family's Ponzi Vineyards.
This year's harvest is not about quantity, yields will be lower. It's all about quality. And overall that's more important, that will bring great reviews as in the past and even more luster to this $3 billion industry in Oregon.