National

Oct 11, 2010 9:47 AM by Olivia Munoz, AP

West coast vintners hope late harvest makes fine wine

Growers along the West Coast are rushing to pick grapes after a cool summer led to a late harvest.

Jon Emmerich of Silverado Vineyards in California's Napa valley says the harvest is running about three weeks behind because workers were waiting to let the grapes ripen.

Growers in Oregon and Washington state say they're running two to three weeks behind too.

But if they can beat the coming frost, vintners say the grapes have the potential to make great wine. With less sun and heat, grapes develop less sugar, which means they'll produce wines with slightly less alcohol but full and balanced flavors.

Winemakers say this year's American vintages will be more akin to those produced in the world's top wine countries, such as France and Italy.

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