Ask Sid: How are wild fires affecting California vineyards?

October 18th, 2017
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California wildfires wine grapes
Question: How are the wild fires ravaging the California vineyards affecting the grapes and the vines?

Answer: Shouldn’t be a problem for those grapes that already were picked and being processed in the winery. However those later ripening varieties including cabernet sauvignon could be affected by a resulting smoke taint in the grapes which is likely to appear later on in the wine. Just a little bit of it could add complexity but a lot would overwhelm the fruit purity. More problematic is the damage to the vines. They tend to be strong and hearty but flames could burn those that were very dry after the long hot summer weather. All vineyards will require careful monitoring and the final assessment on whether or not any specific vine survived probably won’t be known till bud break in the Spring 2018.

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October 18th, 2017

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