Smoke Exposure

© Sarah Anne Risk

Below you will find recommendations for minimizing your risk, lab information, and the most current research on smoke exposure and taint.

NVG recommends growers take the following immediate steps when dealing with any level of smoke exposure:

  1. Communicate early and often with wineries/purchasing partners to propose vineyard and winery mitigation strategies and a unified approach to reducing risk and losses
  2. Despite testing delays, collect fruit and/or micro-ferment samples and send for lab analysis NOW 
    • Note: Labs have been experiencing significant delays for berry sample results, but this should not prevent you from proceeding with testing
    • Follow sampling protocols recommended by the West Coast Smoke Exposure Task Force and other groups listed below
    • Do your own testing, rather than relying on a winery/purchaser
    • Consider freezing additional samples for future testing and research
  3. If you have crop insurance, review your policy and eligibility requirements with an agent
    • Note: Crop insurance will likely not cover loss of grape sales without corresponding lab results
  4. If you do not have crop insurance, testing is still recommended as documentation for applying for disaster assistance
    • Review disaster assistance options as they become available
    • Note: at this time, there is currently no state or federal disaster assistance for crop losses due to smoke taint
  5. Review and consider updating your grape contracts with smoke exposure provisions
  6. Protect the health and safety of vineyard workers
  7. Take care of your vineyard
    • Vines are resilient to heat and smoke exposure when properly cared for
    • Extra irrigation may be beneficial for vines close to fires or significant smoke
    • Continue to follow best practices for managing your vineyard even if concerned about crop losses


RESOURCES

Labs

Berry Testing
ETS, St. Helena
K Prime Inc., Santa Rosa
SupraRnD, British Columbia
Micro-Ferment Testing
ETS Labs, St. Helena
K Prime Inc., Santa Rosa
AWRI, Australia
SupraRnD, British Columbia


Sampling Protocols


Smoke Taint Research


Guidance from Insurers


Grape Contract Resources