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Arizona winemakers face a record-breaking season

PHOENIX — Arizona winemakers are keeping their fingers crossed in hopes that Mother Nature will continue her kindness.

It’s been rainy in some areas around the state, which could delay the end of the harvest season, but barring a massive hailstorm, this could be a record-breaking year.

“It looks like a better year than last year, and last year was better than the year before,” said grower and winemaker Sam Pillsbury, owner of Wilcox, Ariz.-based Pillsbury Wine Company.

He has approximately 100 acres and expects to harvest up to 65 tons of fruit, which would be a 20 percent increase over last year.

“Acidity isn’t too high, the PH isn’t too high, the seeds are brown,” said Pillsbury. “These are all things wine growers and winemakers look for and dream about, so it looks really good.”

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were over 220,000 gallons of wine produced in Arizona last year.