Washington Vineyards Toast Record-Breaking Harvest

After a dicey few years with low grape production, Yakima Valley is back on track to make its wines

While the Midwest is turning lemons into lemonade — we mean, grapes into wine — during a serious drought, one wine region in the U.S. is on track with its own grape production. 

The good news is that Yakima Valley, Washington State's most prominent wine region, has broken a record with 200,000 tons of grapes this harvest, reports the Seattle Times. It's well above last year's harvest of 160,000 tons. 

The reason for a better harvest? The warmer temperatures, plus new acreage in the area, reports the Statesman Journal. And it's letting winemakers breathe a sigh of relief. "It’s just right down the fairway all the way... It’s nice to have a normal year," said Kevin Corliss, the vice president of vineyards for Ste. Michelle Wine Estates. 

A cold snap back in November 2010 hurt the state's wine production tremendously; some vineyards lost as much as 15 percent of their crops that year. Now, it seems like America's fastest-growing wine region is back on track.