Question: What is the latest news on smoke taint in grapes affecting wine?
Answer: Yes this is an important ongoing problem around the world with the ever increasing number of wildfires occurring near vineyards. It is being studied intensely particularly in Australia, California and at the University of British Columbia in Kelowna. A difficult issue is that while wine grapes may absorb volatile phenols in smoke they
convert it at that stage through enzymes so it becomes less perceivable. However during the fermentation process the yeasts restore that smoke taint as clearly recognizable once again in the resulting wine. Very tricky to monitor. For more details check out an excellent update article of August 2, 2021 by Wesley Zandberg at www.theconversation.com “Up in smoke: How wildfires are tainting grapes and threatening the wine industry.”
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