The smoke is clearing.  Some wineries have lost buildings and equipment.  The vineyards have, fortunately, survived the recent fires in Napa and Sonoma.  The white grapes were largely harvested before the fires broke out.  However, 30% of the red grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc, remained on the vines as the valleys filled with thick acrid smoke.  The biggest concern now is smoke taint.  Smoke contains volatile phenols.  Those phenols are absorbed by vines and can concentrate in the grapes.  If the phenols make their way into wine, they can create unwanted flavors that some describe as “campfire”, “smoky”, and “ashtray”.  A recent New York Times article describes the steps wineries are now taking to separate wines made from grapes picked before the fires and after the fires.  Only time will tell if the 2017 vintage of red wines from Napa and Sonoma will suffer from smoke taint

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