Smoke Taint Part 2

Smoke Taint Part 2

Smoke Taint Part 2. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Fruit Grower Report.

The best BBQ is the ones with that deep smoke flavor. Smoke is used to flavor and cure all sorts of meats. Even some alcohol’s like fine whiskey benefits from a smokey flavor. But what about wine? The problem is that smoke used for flavor is usually from one specific wood source like mesquite or hickory. When a wild fire is burning around a vineyard there is no way to control the kind of smoke that grapes might be subjected to. Michelle Moyer with WSU has been talking about how this smoke might taint this year’s wine grape crop.

MOYER: Fires are different based on what their fuel source is and so we don’t know - obviously the fuel source down in Australian vineyards will be things like sagebrush which obviously we have out here in great abundance. But a lot of this heavy smoke we’re dealing with is not sage brush burning but it’s obviously going to be composed of something different than what they’re experienced in Australia.

Australia has done some research on the smoke taint issue but not enough to come to any strong conclusions.

MOYER: We’re tossing ideas back and forth and discussing and we’ve kind of come to the same conclusion - well there’s not much you can do. You can’t protect your vines from smoke at this point. But really a lot of those precursors are bound in the skin of grapes obviously reducing skin contact time once you get into the winery is one way to reduce the likelihood you could develop smoke taint. And in general, picking as soon as you can to reduce that exposure time.

That’s today’s Fruit Grower Report. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network.

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