Understanding the ‘Smoke Taint’ Threat to Local Wineries and How to Detect It in Grapes

(via) Grapes don’t like wildfire smoke. They can absorb the aromatic compounds (volatile phenols) that negatively impact a wine’s taste. This is called “smoke taint”, and it’s bad news for winemakers. Smoke taint is an especially worrisome phenomenon for wineries in areas where wildfire smoke is prevalent, places like California, Oregon, Washington and right here in British Columbia. As climate change increases the dry conditions that result in forest fires, there’s a rush afoot to fight the scourge through detection and, yes, even prevention. In the video above, Dr. Anita Oberholster of UC Davis digs into the fascinating science of it, demonstrating how small-scale fermentations can evaluate smoke exposure.

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