Thursday, July 24, 2008

Smoke Taint?

Interesting post on the Westwood Winery blog about the possibilities of the grapes being affected by the smoke from our recent fires. Most people I've spoken to haven't seemed that worried about it; apocryphal tales of vintages having an additional smokiness, but mostly the view that it's probably imagined, with no real hard facts to go off.

Well it turns out there are real, hard facts. Vines can indeed be affected by smoke, with compounds entering the plant via the leaves and ending up inside the berries, not simply collecting on the skins. How significant the effects will be is going to vary depending on the degree of exposure. But if you do notice a certain smokiness to the 2008 vintage, it may not just be your imagination.


Anonymous said...

Nice essay. I recall someone on eBob saying in a previous fire year his Syrah picked up some smokiness, in a good way, but not the other varietals. From what this guy writes, that may have come down to timing.