• From Food & Wine magaine
I swear, if I see one more nitwit headline that says 'California’s 2017 Vintage Is Doomed by Smoke,' I’m going to bonk someone over the head with a bottle of Napa Cabernet.Go here for the full story.
Here’s why. While there’s no question that the wildfires in northern California’s wine regions have filled the air with smoke, that does not mean the 2017 vintage is doomed. Or even particularly damaged. Far from it.
Smoke taint in wine occurs when grapes (or leaves, or vines) absorb smoky compounds and transmit them into the resulting wine. One such case was the 2008 vintage in Mendocino and northern Sonoma, where forest fires in Mendocino cast an eight-day pall of smoke over many vineyards in the area, and as a result many wines suffered from a bitter, ashtray-ish quality (most quality growers whose wines were affected refused to release them). But those fires happened early in the growing season, when grapes were still developing, which is a key difference.