Whidbey Island Winery manages its latest harvest

Greg Osenbach rakes estate Madeleine Angevine into the crusher. - --
Greg Osenbach rakes estate Madeleine Angevine into the crusher.
— image credit: --

Whidbey Island Winery completed the 2011 harvest and crush season on Veterans Day, making it the latest on record.

Chances of a successful harvest looked slim as the grapes finished blooming in late July, a month late, and predictions from eastern Washington vineyards were dire, owner and winemaker Greg Osenbach said.

At the Langley winery, the grapes were thinned to produce a small crop and maintain quality. The grapes were harvested by volunteers in early October, again a full month later than ever but before any frost.

Then eight truckloads of grapes from eastern Washington were hauled and processed in a month instead of the usual six or seven weeks as the weather showed signs of turning into full-scale winter. The last 5 tons were in the driveway five hours before I-90 closed for snow, Osenbach said.

“It’s exciting but exhausting and you don’t know what day of the week it is,” Osenbach said, adding, “it’s not romance as much as it is an adrenaline rush.”

Now, 45 tons are safely in the winery becoming another great vintage.

Whidbey Island Winery is located at 5237 Langley Road, Langley. For information call 360-221-2040 or visit


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