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The lone bright spot of the state’s historic drought? Wine, vintners say

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WOODINVILLE -- The historic drought in Washington State has made things difficult for many people and many industries but at least one industry is reaping the benefits:

The drought is good for the wine making business.

Andrew Januik at Januik Winery says the dry and hot summer has sped up the wine making process. They are picking some of their grapes 2 to 3 weeks ahead of schedule.

Mike Januik, who started the winery, says this is the earliest harvest he’s seen in more than 30 years. The grapes are smaller and there are not as many in the orchards, but the flavor is really concentrated and full.

“A lower yield and bigger skins, it’s a good thing,” says Andrew Januik.

Because the berries are smaller, there is less competition for the resources, so the flavor is very strong and bold.

“Look out for 2015," suggests Januik. "Try a few varieties.”

Januik says customers will not notice a change in price.

Here’s a statement from Washington State Wine:

"This was a warm year, and as a result, harvest has started roughly 2-3 weeks earlier than normal. Although there was some concern about the potential impact of the drought, wine grapes were not affected, and there was ample water. The quality of the fruit is strong, and our winemakers are excited about what they are seeing. Wine lovers can expect the 2015 vintage to reflect its growing season — this was not a shy year, and these will likely not be shy wines. Look for intense flavors. If you love bold reds, this is your vintage."