Climate and Agriculture in the Southeast

Will the smoke from the California wildfires affect wine quality this year?

I’ve seen some articles online indicating that they think the smoky conditions from the fires in the California wine country this year could devastate the production of wine, leading to a smoky, burned flavor that would doom the wines.  It was interesting to read this article in Food & Wine today which points out that most of the grapes for this year’s production were harvested long before the fires began and that most wines will not be affected at all.  The most likely to experience adverse effects are the ones from grapes that are harvested late, like cabernet sauvignon, but even there, the fires did not occur until the grapes were fully developed and off-flavors should be minimal, although I am sure vintners will be testing carefully. Volume may be more of an issue than flavor, since some vines were destroyed by the fires, and some wineries and their contents were also destroyed. You can read the discussion here.

Source: Ray Isle, Food & Wine