PORTLAND, November 5, 2008 – Oregon’s 2008 growing season started late, with bud break on average ten days to two weeks behind schedule followed by a cool growing season and harvest that extended through the end of October. Concerned that the grapes might not reach full ripeness, growers further thinned crop later in the season. In the northern part of the state, small berry clusters left to hang on the vine throughout the extended warm spell in October achieved optimal maturity, with full ripeness, and exhibit intensely concentrated color and flavors. In Southern and Eastern Oregon, a late season freeze affected some vineyards, but fruit brought in before the freeze shows concentration and mature flavors, and protected vineyards were unharmed. With lower yields, but fully ripe, high quality fruit, 2008 is a harvest that growers and winemakers a like say has the potential to produce extraordinary wines.