Wine Grapes and Wildfire Smoke Pt 2

Wine Grapes and Wildfire Smoke Pt 2

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. Smoke from our September wildfires may have damage wine grapes, but we may not know for a while to what extent.

Vicky Scharlau, executive director at the Washington Winegrowers Association, says researchers with the West Coast Smoke Exposure Task Force are looking for ways to protect wine grapes from smoke taint …

SCHARLAU … “The other area was on crop insurance because smoke is an insurable damage, but there’s so much about the environment of smoke and the nuances of smoke and when it causes damage and when it doesn’t, that we need more information and we need to work with the insurers and with the USDA.”

But, Scharlau says it’s not just growers who are impacted …

SCHARLAU … “This isn’t just a buy and sell contract between grower and processor because so many of the wines in our state especially are unique and those bottles include the names of the vineyards and often the name of the grower. So, it’s a real partnership.”

Scharlau says it’s a new problem for the Northwest wine industry …

SCHARLAU … “And, we wanted to make sure we understood what smoke would do to the arrangement between grower and vintner in future contracts because with shared responsibility, how do you determine what to do when a grower does find that he has damaged grapes that winery can’t use.”

Listen tomorrow for more on what we know and don’t know about the impact of wildfire smoke on wine grapes.

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