Do I Detect a Note of Smoke in My Chardonnay?

How the wildfires may affect the California wine industry.

For many wine connoisseurs, a hint of tobacco might be a welcome flavor profile to their glass of cabernet. But following this season’s devastating fires, many winemakers are worried real smoke may damage their future crops.

While much of this year’s harvest was spared in both Northern and Southern California, the threat is far from over, as seen in other wine regions around the world.

According to a recent segment on NPR, “Smoke taint can happen when grapes are exposed to smoke. The resulting wine has an unpleasant taste, often described as ashy, burnt, and ashtray. California’s growers might have lucked out this year, but significant wine regions, including in Australia, South Africa, Chile, and Portugal, have all had serious fires in recent years, and climate change is anticipated to make it worse.”

Read more about this developing research and the potential impact of smoke of wine production here.

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