Smoky grapes may hurt wines
Smoke from the West Coast wildfires has tainted grapes in some of the nation’s most celebrated wine regions with an ashy flavor that could spell disaster for the 2020 vintage.
Wineries in California, Oregon and Washington have survived severe wildfires before, but the smoke from this year’s blazes has been especially bad — thick enough to obscure vineyards drooping with clusters of grapes almost ready for harvest. Day after day, some West Coast cities endured some of the worst air quality in the world.
If tainted grapes are made into wine without steps to minimize the harm, the result could be wine so bad that it cannot be marketed.