California Wildfires May Give Wines a ‘Smokey’ Flavor for Years to Come

“There are ways that winemakers can attempt to ‘mask’ the smoky taste, but it’s literally permeated everything, from the grapes themselves to the wooden crates and barrels used to store grapes and the finished wine product,” Burak Kazaz, a professor of supply chain management at Syracuse University and a wine industry expert said in a statement.

“Heavy smoke and a burnt flavor is hard to remove, and the effect is cumulative as the state has been hit hard by wildfires for the past few years.”

“California wine country is vast with winegrapes grown in 49 of California’s 58 counties. With the majority of the state’s wineries and vineyards untouched by the wildfires, California vintners and growers are in the midst of harvest following an excellent 2020 growing season,” reads a statement on the California Wine Institute(CWI) website.

CWI says it’s too early to know the extent of the impact from the smoke exposure.


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