Smoky grapes may hurt wines

The Times-Tribune - - NATION & WORLD -

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.

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