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Would You Like Some Smoke With That Wine? Study Shows Effect Of Wildfires On Grapes

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Anna King
/
Northwest News Network

Winemakers are hyper-focused when it comes to the environmental factors that influence the way their product is made. Soil, climate and location all affect wine grapes. Now, there’s evidence that wildfire smoke alters the way a wine tastes – regardless of the flavor of the grapes at harvest.

A team at the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus found that grapes quickly absorb and retain chemicals in smoke. Even if the grapes on the vine don’t taste smoky, the flavor still can translate in the alcohol.

The group has developed a test that analyzes the level of smoke chemicals in the grapes, so producers can decide whether or not to harvest the crop.

The Idaho Wine Commission estimates there are about 1,300 acres dedicated to wine grapes in the state.  

Find reporter Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill

Copyright 2018 Boise State Public Radio

Frankie Barnhill was the Senior Producer of Idaho Matters, Boise State Public Radio's daily show and podcast.