Wine business expected to boom after rough two years

Wine business expected to boom after rough two years
Spring Barrel Tasting is just around the corner. You and 12 million friends could enjoy premier passes at more than 40 participating wineries from the Yakima Valley to the Tri-Cities.
YAKIMA COUNTY, Wash. -- After several tough years, local wineries are back on their feet and expecting big success.

"This has been a perfect winter for grapes. We've not had any warm weather and we've not had any cold weather and that's a great thing," said Gail Puryear, owner of Bonair Winery.

An increased amount of snow has also helped, which is something thing that doesn't happen every year.

"Our biggest problem in eastern Washington is sever cold temps, there's nothing you can do it's mother nature," Puryear said.

The past two winters did not have enough snow on the ground and it was so cold that grapes froze.

"Two very cold years, and cold years are not the best years," he said. "Some grapes in warmer areas were damaged at that cold spell."

Blankets of snow are a source of insulation to keep roots from freezing, and this year there was plenty of it. It was also warmer, but until February's pruning season, they're not out of the woods yet.

"The worst thing that we could see right now is temperatures over 50 degrees," said Puryear.

If all goes as planned, wine makers think this will help improve Yakima's local economy in 2013. They hope these great seasons continue so the ag-economy can thrive.