Did The Fires Affect Washington Wines?
How about those fires huh?
Now that most of them are out and the firefighters have vanquished another opponent, now we are left with smoky grapes.
Smoke from the California wildfires has reportedly tainted grapes in many of the biggest wineries on the West Coast. Wineries in California, Oregon, and Washington are reporting a smoky flavor in their grapes that could cause severe harm to their products and thier business.
California winery owner Noah Dorrance says, "You [can] taste and smell this ashy, barbecued flavor, kind of like a campfire."
Experts say the wildfires have been the single worst disaster the wineries have ever faced. Now they are left with the after effects of their harvest and a chance their grapes may alter their branded flavor.
Washington wine growth has exploded over the past 10 years. In 2019, Washington Wines have grown to 8.7% making it the 2nd largest in the U.S.
With over 1,000 wineries in our region, they favor 59% red to 41% white ratio in wine producing with 17.7 million cases from over 60,000 acres of grapes. It all totals to an $8.4 Billion industry.
Washington State is focused on the premium wine market segment (wines sold for $8 and higher). Washington isn’t a light weight in the wine game. Now with smoky grapes, Washington’s vintners are concerned. Especially California and Oreon grow Pino grapes, which are thin skinned and most vulnerable to smoke in the air.
The 2020 grapes from our region has just been harvested. So far, most winemakers in Washington are still assessing this season’s grapes harvest. So far, they are cautiously optimistic that most wine quality would likely not be impacted by the smoke.
Since Washington focuses on higher end wine, taste is especially crucial.
Wine makers are crossing their fingers – and so are we.
All My Best To The Winemakers In Our Region,