First the Pandemic Halted Tasting-Room Traffic, Then Wildfire Smoke Threatened Their Grapes. Yet Local Winemakers Are Finding New Ways to Serve Flights and Save the 2020 Vintage.
And all of that was before historic wildfires produced an acrid haze that settled over wine country in September. Winemakers in hotter places like Australia and California know all about “smoke taint,” but it’s a new scourge in Oregon due to climate change. The volatile phenols in smoke can permeate grape skins, making the wine taste like an ashtray, or a crayon.