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.

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