Wine grape ‘taint’ rises anew with huge 2018 Northern California wildfires

Wine grape ‘taint’ rises anew with huge 2018 Northern California wildfires

NORTH BAY BUSINESS JOURNAL
December 19, 2018, 9:29AM

After the massive North Bay wildfires during harvest in October last year, record-sized blazes this summer in Mendocino and Lake counties, and big burns in Oregon, British Columbia and northeastern California, concerns about “smoke taint” in wine have wafted up from Down Under to become a hot North American industry issue.

Lake County growers estimate damages from grapes not purchased this harvest because they were deemed smoke-tainted was at least $37.1 million, according to a survey by the Lake County Winegrape Commission. Grower revenue from the 2017 crop in the county was $84 million.

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