The Impact of 2020’s Wildfires

Months after the fires subsided, vintners are assessing how much fruit suffered smoke taint

The Impact of 2020’s Wildfires
Burnt grapes on the vine after the Glass Fire in 2020 (Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images)
From the Jun 30, 2021, issue

Winemakers were hit hard when a string of wildfires ripped through California’s wine-growing regions in August and September of 2020. Months later, the full economic impact and the number of wines suffering from smoke taint are just now coming into focus. Crop losses were particularly high for red grapes like Napa Cabernet and Sonoma Pinot Noir. But not all was lost and many winemakers are using the vintage as a learning experience to prepare for the future.

Member-Only Content

Premium Subscription

Join today and get immediate access to this article, and to our entire database of more than 400,000 wine ratings. It only takes moments—but it will help you drink better all year long.

Start Free 30-day Trial

Already a member? Sign In

Try Winespectator.com Free for 30 Days!

Full access to our database of more than 400,000 wine ratings

Early access to reviews on our editors' favorite just-rated wines

Wine and food pairing tool,
chefs' pairing recommendations

Best value wines and winery intel

Subscribe today

You Might Also Like

Sonoma Snags Supporting Role in Wine Country Comedy

Sonoma Snags Supporting Role in Wine Country Comedy

Sonoma wine country stars in Pretty Problems . Plus, Château Siran's artist label finds …

Dec 31, 2022
<i>Wine Spectator</i> Hosts 41st Wine Experience

Wine Spectator Hosts 41st Wine Experience

The sold-out event drew thousands of wine lovers to New York for a three-day reunion

Dec 31, 2022
<i>Wine Spectator</i> Introduces New Podcast Series

Wine Spectator Introduces New Podcast Series

Wine Spectator launches a new podcast, Straight Talk , hosted by senior editor James …

Dec 31, 2022
Many Europeans Happy With Harvest

Many Europeans Happy With Harvest

Winegrowers stood tall against the challenges of soaring summer temperatures across much of …

Dec 31, 2022
Lynn Penner-Ash Steps Back

Lynn Penner-Ash Steps Back

The Willamette Valley icon retires after four decades in the wine business

Dec 31, 2022
Outside the Lines: Domaine de la Côte

Outside the Lines: Domaine de la Côte

Pushing boundaries in the Sta. Rita Hills

Dec 15, 2022