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‘The future of the wine industry is here’ Factories among the vines in Grant County

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MATTAWA — Surrounded by vineyards, orchards and the otherwise barren, desert landscape of the Wahluke Slope, the industrial presence of Mattawa’s two bulk wine production plants seems oddly out of place. Looking more like refineries than wineries, the plants squeeze and transform thousands of tons of grapes into millions of gallons of wine each year. Mechanized harvesters are now mowing through thousands of acres of ripe vineyard, shaking plump bunches of grapes from the vines and dumping them into a lineup of waiting trucks. The machines can go through an acre an hour, about 4 to 6 tons of grapes.

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