Smoke taint 2020...

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Tom G l a s g o w
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#151 Post by Tom G l a s g o w » September 6th, 2020, 6:58 pm

GregP wrote:
September 6th, 2020, 6:42 pm
Casey Hartlip wrote:
September 6th, 2020, 4:41 pm
Heard first hand that a vineyard in the Laguna area has tested positive for smoke. Don't know the numbers or any details. They will not pick. Going to turn it over to their crop insurance.
Casey, have no idea where you're trying to go with this, second post of yours at this point.

I have learned, sadly way too late, that one really needs to filter a lot of what is being said in wine business. Just yesterday a vineyard claimed they tested for smoke taint, came up clean (no, not in RRV). While having no idea just how "involved" I am with ETS and tests/dates at this point, having been in so called first echelon of samples submitted with results not even on the horizon. So, sure, I asked them to email me the test results fully confident they never tested (as much as I wanted to call a lie to their faces). So, far no response, zilch, nada. Complete silence. But, you know, "they tested".

A lot of people claim a lot of things in regard to smoke taint. This thread included. I will be happy to post our results, doesn't matter to me how bad, or acceptable. When I receive them, of course. Until then I keep hearing stories of people refusing to take fruit, and in my view, in some cases the declines have nothing to do with whether there is actual smoke taint, but people's play acting when they know they simply want to cut down on production due to inability to sell. This cutting back on production started before the fires, if you're paying attention and I know that you do, so fires and smoke taint only gives them an easier way out of contracts. Brutal truth, but you, of all people, should not have someone spell it out for you.

So far, and I have second micro ferment going, both display no off notes of any sort. What it means in the end I have no idea, and not making any claims in regard to smoke taint until I know one way or another, but doing all I can on my end to verify, every which way. And awaiting ETS results at this point to clarify things.

Until then its all he said, she said BS that means nothing to me.

You know, husband walking in on his wife in bed with his best friend. Wife: Who are you going to believe, your loving wife or your lying eyes.

PS. As I finished typing the above got a call, my mother has passed, in NY, so all of this is pretty much moot to me with the 14 day enforced quarantine BS. So, signing off for now.
Greg, I’d like to offer my condolences.

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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#152 Post by N Weis » September 6th, 2020, 7:01 pm

Casey Hartlip wrote:
September 6th, 2020, 6:17 pm
My prediction:
Lawyers gonna get rich on smoke taint and growers gonna get the short end.
100% agreed
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#153 Post by Casey Hartlip » September 6th, 2020, 7:20 pm

Tom G l a s g o w wrote:
September 6th, 2020, 6:58 pm
GregP wrote:
September 6th, 2020, 6:42 pm
Casey Hartlip wrote:
September 6th, 2020, 4:41 pm
Heard first hand that a vineyard in the Laguna area has tested positive for smoke. Don't know the numbers or any details. They will not pick. Going to turn it over to their crop insurance.
Casey, have no idea where you're trying to go with this, second post of yours at this point.

I have learned, sadly way too late, that one really needs to filter a lot of what is being said in wine business. Just yesterday a vineyard claimed they tested for smoke taint, came up clean (no, not in RRV). While having no idea just how "involved" I am with ETS and tests/dates at this point, having been in so called first echelon of samples submitted with results not even on the horizon. So, sure, I asked them to email me the test results fully confident they never tested (as much as I wanted to call a lie to their faces). So, far no response, zilch, nada. Complete silence. But, you know, "they tested".

A lot of people claim a lot of things in regard to smoke taint. This thread included. I will be happy to post our results, doesn't matter to me how bad, or acceptable. When I receive them, of course. Until then I keep hearing stories of people refusing to take fruit, and in my view, in some cases the declines have nothing to do with whether there is actual smoke taint, but people's play acting when they know they simply want to cut down on production due to inability to sell. This cutting back on production started before the fires, if you're paying attention and I know that you do, so fires and smoke taint only gives them an easier way out of contracts. Brutal truth, but you, of all people, should not have someone spell it out for you.

So far, and I have second micro ferment going, both display no off notes of any sort. What it means in the end I have no idea, and not making any claims in regard to smoke taint until I know one way or another, but doing all I can on my end to verify, every which way. And awaiting ETS results at this point to clarify things.

Until then its all he said, she said BS that means nothing to me.

You know, husband walking in on his wife in bed with his best friend. Wife: Who are you going to believe, your loving wife or your lying eyes.

PS. As I finished typing the above got a call, my mother has passed, in NY, so all of this is pretty much moot to me with the 14 day enforced quarantine BS. So, signing off for now.
Greg, I’d like to offer my condolences.
Not trying to stir up Shit in a shit situation, just reporting what I hear. This is a historic disaster that we ITB are part of. I'm not pointing fingers or calling anyone out. I'm picking grapes that so far have been deemed free of smoke taint. I had extra fruit for sale before harvest and it's sold now. I did not gouge or take advantage of my situation. Just trying to survive a crazy harvest that I hope we never see the likes of again.
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#154 Post by Al Osterheld » September 6th, 2020, 7:29 pm

I'm very sorry to hear the sad news, Greg. Take care of yourself and your family.

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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#155 Post by Fred Scherrer » September 6th, 2020, 8:12 pm

[/quote] On the bad side it was 104° Saturday and it’s expected to hit 107° or higher today and again triple digits Monday and possibly Tuesday. With the way they open the canopies on Pinot it’s going to be a rough stretch. I imagine they are turning up the irrigation. I assume you’re looking at different fruit at 21° because I’ve seen Pinot being pulled already in pretty large quantities.

Napa Valley is 110°+ yesterday, today and Monday with 100° Tuesday making 6 straight over 100.

I was at Limerick Lane Monday picking up some wine and I could see raisins already on exposed clusters. It’ll be interesting to see how things develop over the coming week.
[/quote]



When I started calling for harvesting this year I did not see a good correlation between Brix and every other sign of ripeness. Most of the earlier stuff was at unusually low Brix for the site. Fine.

Zinfandel that was 21.5 on Wed. and tasted great we harvested. Brix rose a little in tank when the riper, more plastic berries broke open and became part of the juice mix. Left the less ready half of that block until today. 24 Brix in tank this evening. We are done with Zin this year. Glad we timed it ahead of the rest of the heat. Vascular connections were breaking down and destemming was easy and super clean which is another sign of fully ripe fruit. No significant raisins yet. We did not aggressively pull leaves. I've seen that labor day heat before. It could have burned us (pun intended) had we had a lot of rain when that system that started the fires came thru, though.

Pinot: We are just about done. A few later things should hold well enough. Those sites were not that fragile yet and there were nearly zero seedless berries which can't take this stuff at all.

Working with growers, doing micro-ferments, talking with close colleagues and sharing brain power, we will all get thru this and learn a lot. Some fruit will be mutually rejected and other stuff will be processed with open eyes. None of us want the grower to be left holding the bag unnecessarily.

F

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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#156 Post by Roy Piper » September 7th, 2020, 2:16 pm

It's 111F in Calistoga at 2pm. Even more crazy is 109F in Santa Rosa. And even more crazy than that is Freestone is 102F. Freestone is usually 85F when Napa is 100F.

It's fairly smokey everywhere right now and yesterday, too. Nothing like 2017, but after three weeks of this, and no letup in sight... and a Red Flag warning for tonight... and 2-4 weeks til harvest for Cab.... and some microferments showing low-level taint from some regions that were picked 10 days ago.... I am not optimistic. We need to start turning this around. Tonight's red flag is no way to start. Here is hoping it winds up being a non-event.
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#157 Post by Eric Lundblad » September 7th, 2020, 3:54 pm

Re Smoke, everything I see for smoke (PM2.5) has sonoma/napa in the green and yellow range for the last 3 days.
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#158 Post by Brian Tuite » September 7th, 2020, 4:07 pm

Fred Scherrer wrote:
September 6th, 2020, 8:12 pm

When I started calling for harvesting this year I did not see a good correlation between Brix and every other sign of ripeness. Most of the earlier stuff was at unusually low Brix for the site. Fine.

Zinfandel that was 21.5 on Wed. and tasted great we harvested. Brix rose a little in tank when the riper, more plastic berries broke open and became part of the juice mix. Left the less ready half of that block until today. 24 Brix in tank this evening. We are done with Zin this year. Glad we timed it ahead of the rest of the heat. Vascular connections were breaking down and destemming was easy and super clean which is another sign of fully ripe fruit. No significant raisins yet. We did not aggressively pull leaves. I've seen that labor day heat before. It could have burned us (pun intended) had we had a lot of rain when that system that started the fires came thru, though.

Pinot: We are just about done. A few later things should hold well enough. Those sites were not that fragile yet and there were nearly zero seedless berries which can't take this stuff at all.

Working with growers, doing micro-ferments, talking with close colleagues and sharing brain power, we will all get thru this and learn a lot. Some fruit will be mutually rejected and other stuff will be processed with open eyes. None of us want the grower to be left holding the bag unnecessarily.

F
I love it when a plan comes together. Good for you Fred.
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#159 Post by Paul Gordon » September 7th, 2020, 4:32 pm

Eric Lundblad wrote:
September 7th, 2020, 3:54 pm
Re Smoke, everything I see for smoke (PM2.5) has sonoma/napa in the green and yellow range for the last 3 days.
Smoke was bad around Petaluma and Marin today. Less dense further north in Sonoma. Our place was clear.

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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#160 Post by Eric Lundblad » September 7th, 2020, 8:10 pm

Yeah, Petaluma and esp Marin have been getting hit hard with smoke for a while now. Great to hear that your place/area is clear Paul.

It's my understanding that the portion of smoke that causes the taint, and damages our lungs, is the PM2.5 portion...and it's very difficult to gauge visually. AirNow put together a website (link below) that focuses just on PM2.5. It includes the permanent (circles) and temporary (triangles) Govt Air Sensors, and the Purple air sensors (squares). You can click on any of these to see the last ~5 days of smoke air quality data (the icons are colored that shows the current conditions). It does some 'massaging' of the Purple air data to improve its quality (not sure exactly what this includes, even so it appears the perm/temp govt air sensors are more reliable). It also has an overlay (varying levels of gray) that gives an idea of the density of the 'smoke plume' and how far it extends.

I was a fan of the data on AirNow's other website, but I wasn't the biggest fan of the interface. I think the one below is great on all counts. Oh, maybe someone posted this link already...in which case, uh, never mind.

https://fire.airnow.gov/
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#161 Post by Adam Lee » September 8th, 2020, 5:16 am

FWIW, I've seen a decent amount of RRV berry samples come in at between 1-2 - awaiting results of microferments in most cases. The Santa Lucia Highlands is another area where red grapes have been greatiy impacted. It appears most likely that Clarice Wine Company won't be producing a 2020 vintage and Beau Marchais' production will be cut in half. I am still awaiting microferment results to say that with complete certainty, but at this point it would be something akin to a miracle if the end result were different. I am planning on paying the growers for their cost of farming as I think the comment about the growers taking it in the shorts is pretty accurate and this was far out of their control.

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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#162 Post by Casey Hartlip » September 8th, 2020, 2:02 pm

A guy I know who buys fruit from El Dorado says there's ash on most vineyards up there.
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#163 Post by Al Osterheld » September 8th, 2020, 2:09 pm

Ash generally means nearby fire, which I think is the worst type of smoke.

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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#164 Post by larry schaffer » September 8th, 2020, 2:26 pm

Adam Lee wrote:
September 8th, 2020, 5:16 am
FWIW, I've seen a decent amount of RRV berry samples come in at between 1-2 - awaiting results of microferments in most cases. The Santa Lucia Highlands is another area where red grapes have been greatiy impacted. It appears most likely that Clarice Wine Company won't be producing a 2020 vintage and Beau Marchais' production will be cut in half. I am still awaiting microferment results to say that with complete certainty, but at this point it would be something akin to a miracle if the end result were different. I am planning on paying the growers for their cost of farming as I think the comment about the growers taking it in the shorts is pretty accurate and this was far out of their control.

Adam Lee
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Adam,

Do you purchase anything from SB County? Perhaps for your Beau Marchais label?

So bummed to see what's happening north of us and hoping that things turn out better than expected . . .

Cheers.
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#165 Post by Eric Ifune » September 8th, 2020, 2:29 pm

So sorry Greg.

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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#166 Post by Eric Lundblad » September 8th, 2020, 4:46 pm

Eric Lundblad wrote:
September 8th, 2020, 4:41 pm
The best (imo, of course) fire map/imaging website right now is:

https://firms.modaps.eosdis.nasa.gov/ma ... .4,40.2,6z

Very well thought out & laid out website. This includes options for both VIIRS and Modus...the two best satellite fire imaging (note, there's some sort of problem with Modus at the moment, so that's turned off by default...you can turn it on to see it doesn't work tho!).

They have a snazzy bar at the bottom to look at the fire images for prior days. Note: by default, it displays the merged results for two day periods, mostly so nothing is missed as the latest image is updated, I assume. You can change this to 1 day (or 3+ days if you'd like), esp useful if you're looking at prior days. There are a bunch of other nice features as well.

Best of all, it's not massively slow like the Google Earth plug-in's are.
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#167 Post by Adam Lee » September 8th, 2020, 4:55 pm

larry schaffer wrote:
September 8th, 2020, 2:26 pm
Adam Lee wrote:
September 8th, 2020, 5:16 am
FWIW, I've seen a decent amount of RRV berry samples come in at between 1-2 - awaiting results of microferments in most cases. The Santa Lucia Highlands is another area where red grapes have been greatiy impacted. It appears most likely that Clarice Wine Company won't be producing a 2020 vintage and Beau Marchais' production will be cut in half. I am still awaiting microferment results to say that with complete certainty, but at this point it would be something akin to a miracle if the end result were different. I am planning on paying the growers for their cost of farming as I think the comment about the growers taking it in the shorts is pretty accurate and this was far out of their control.

Adam Lee
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Adam,

Do you purchase anything from SB County? Perhaps for your Beau Marchais label?

So bummed to see what's happening north of us and hoping that things turn out better than expected . . .

Cheers.
Yes indeed! Clos Pepe fruit. That's the half of Beau Marchais that I am still getting (and 1/4 of production). Fruit looks good - about 23 brix on average right now (3 different sections). Haven't seen it since this recent blast of heat but will be down on Friday and look at it.

Adam

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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#168 Post by Marc Hauser » September 8th, 2020, 5:00 pm

Smoke is particularly bad today in Napa. The sky looks like a Blade Runner hellscape. I heard it’s from the August Complex fire up in Mendocino.
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#169 Post by Kevin Harvey » September 8th, 2020, 6:41 pm

We are not picking fruit at Family Farm, Skyline, Alpine, Horseshoe or Centennial Mtn. Very painful but I guess it could be worse.

I hope other wineries are faring better. This is pretty devastating for everyone.
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#170 Post by Casey Hartlip » September 8th, 2020, 6:57 pm

Kevin Harvey wrote:
September 8th, 2020, 6:41 pm
We are not picking fruit at Family Farm, Skyline, Alpine, Horseshoe or Centennial Mtn. Very painful but I guess it could be worse.

I hope other wineries are faring better. This is pretty devastating for everyone.
Devastating. So sorry.
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#171 Post by Jim Anderson » September 8th, 2020, 7:10 pm

Kevin Harvey wrote:
September 8th, 2020, 6:41 pm
We are not picking fruit at Family Farm, Skyline, Alpine, Horseshoe or Centennial Mtn. Very painful but I guess it could be worse.

I hope other wineries are faring better. This is pretty devastating for everyone.
Shit. That’s beyond awful. To some extent it’s less the money involved and more the loss of the opportunity to do the work that you want to do.

I’m hoping we are not being impacted in this way but WTF do I know about smoke taint, how it happens, how much and what type/length/intensity of exposure is required and so on? Zip.
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#172 Post by larry schaffer » September 8th, 2020, 7:26 pm

Kevin Harvey wrote:
September 8th, 2020, 6:41 pm
We are not picking fruit at Family Farm, Skyline, Alpine, Horseshoe or Centennial Mtn. Very painful but I guess it could be worse.

I hope other wineries are faring better. This is pretty devastating for everyone.
I am so sorry to hear that, Kevin. Devastating . . .let me known if there's anything we can do down here for you.
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#173 Post by Al Osterheld » September 8th, 2020, 7:30 pm

I'm very sorry to hear, Kevin. At least that line of redwoods kept the fire from moving closer to winery and vineyards in the SCM.

Jim, hope you end up with no reason to develop more expertise.

Tragic year and the traditional fire season is still ahead of us.

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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#174 Post by Kevin Harvey » September 8th, 2020, 7:35 pm

Al Osterheld wrote:
September 8th, 2020, 7:30 pm
I'm very sorry to hear, Kevin. At least that line of redwoods kept the fire from moving closer to winery and vineyards in the SCM.
-Al
Thanks Al (and everyone else!). As bad as it is, it could have been a lot worse. Those Pescadero Creek redwoods saved Alpine and Horseshoe.
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#175 Post by Al Osterheld » September 8th, 2020, 7:42 pm

From what I could tell from the satellite fire maps, the fire just completely stalled there. Don't know how many firefighters were on the ground, because they were mainly in more inhabited areas like Boulder Creek, Ben Lomand, Bonny Doon.

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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#176 Post by Paul Gordon » September 8th, 2020, 7:54 pm

Kevin Harvey wrote:
September 8th, 2020, 6:41 pm
We are not picking fruit at Family Farm, Skyline, Alpine, Horseshoe or Centennial Mtn. Very painful but I guess it could be worse.

I hope other wineries are faring better. This is pretty devastating for everyone.
Shit, sorry to hear that Kevin. Just hope we are getting a decade's worth of WTF over and done with in one year!

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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#177 Post by Paul Gordon » September 8th, 2020, 7:59 pm

Marc Hauser wrote:
September 8th, 2020, 5:00 pm
Smoke is particularly bad today in Napa. The sky looks like a Blade Runner hellscape. I heard it’s from the August Complex fire up in Mendocino.
At this point I think the central valley is full of smoke from the August Complex (mainly Glenn county not Mendo), the fire near Fresno and all the previous fires. Today's offshore winds blew it towards the coast.

Paul
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#178 Post by Brent S » September 8th, 2020, 8:06 pm

Decade’s worth of wtf? Hopefully the next Century:
Covid
Fires
Riots
Crazy heat spikes
20% unemployment, stock market crash

All in 6 months....insane
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#179 Post by David Baum » September 8th, 2020, 8:17 pm

Al Osterheld wrote:
September 8th, 2020, 2:09 pm
Ash generally means nearby fire, which I think is the worst type of smoke.

-Al
FWIW I have some ash in my backyard. Fires are about 40 miles away from me. It depends which way the winds blow

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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#180 Post by Marc Hauser » September 8th, 2020, 8:18 pm

Kevin Harvey wrote:
September 8th, 2020, 6:41 pm
We are not picking fruit at Family Farm, Skyline, Alpine, Horseshoe or Centennial Mtn. Very painful but I guess it could be worse.

I hope other wineries are faring better. This is pretty devastating for everyone.
I’m so sorry, Kevin. Hope you and your team are able to stay safe.
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#181 Post by Victor Hong » September 9th, 2020, 4:38 am

B. Buzzini wrote:
August 20th, 2020, 6:14 pm
How long does it take? Here in the Central Valley Ca. we've had a layer of smoke and ash for the last couple days now...pretty heavy as you can see the ash and smell the smoke persistently. I would think Lodi is getting this...and am wondering about the other wine areas? How much of this does it take before we start seeing the effects in the grapes? And...does heat play any part in how much absorption the grapes take in the smoke...as it's also been 100+ here for the last week or so?
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#182 Post by Anton D » September 9th, 2020, 8:15 am

We have a neighbor who has about 4 acres of grapes. Zin, Syrah, Tempranillo, some Mourvedre...

Saw him over Labor day and he said he was going to harvest this coming weekend.

Now, day is night and ash is falling like snow flurries.

He says maybe he will try to invent a wine-grape derived BBQ sauce.

I tried to take pics, but it just looks like it's dark out.
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#183 Post by Casey Hartlip » September 9th, 2020, 8:23 am

Looking at the purple air map, Oregon is bad.
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#184 Post by R. Frankel » September 9th, 2020, 8:39 am

Kevin Harvey wrote:
September 8th, 2020, 7:35 pm
Al Osterheld wrote:
September 8th, 2020, 7:30 pm
I'm very sorry to hear, Kevin. At least that line of redwoods kept the fire from moving closer to winery and vineyards in the SCM.
-Al
Thanks Al (and everyone else!). As bad as it is, it could have been a lot worse. Those Pescadero Creek redwoods saved Alpine and Horseshoe.
Kevin, so sorry to hear about the SCM vineyards. Huge bummer, but the properties being ok is an immense silver lining. How did your AV properties fare? Did the deep end avoid the worst of the smoke?
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#185 Post by Victor Hong » September 9th, 2020, 9:03 am

Brent S wrote:
September 8th, 2020, 8:06 pm
Decade’s worth of wtf? Hopefully the next Century:
Covid
Fires
Riots
Crazy heat spikes
20% unemployment, stock market crash

All in 6 months....insane
Plus an election..........

Only winning a Nobel Peace Prize can save this year. Oh, wait,..........
WineHunter.

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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#186 Post by Brian Tuite » September 9th, 2020, 9:08 am

Things have taken a weird twist today.

The higher the sun gets in the sky the darker it becomes.
A8D11F2A-82C3-48D5-B7D9-942B6DE294A7.jpeg
0A58B2E0-83F6-4F44-B037-AF55FCFDC610.jpeg
0709B3AF-C9C3-4F0E-89CC-96F4D2FB2BB3.jpeg
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#187 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » September 9th, 2020, 9:10 am

Kevin Harvey wrote:
September 8th, 2020, 6:41 pm
We are not picking fruit at Family Farm, Skyline, Alpine, Horseshoe or Centennial Mtn. Very painful but I guess it could be worse.

I hope other wineries are faring better. This is pretty devastating for everyone.
That's just horrible. Hoping for better things in the future for you and the team.
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#188 Post by Victor Hong » September 9th, 2020, 9:11 am

Fake fires, fake smoke. Just watch TV for the real outside..................
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#189 Post by Victor Hong » September 9th, 2020, 9:34 am

GregP wrote:
September 6th, 2020, 6:42 pm
...........

PS. As I finished typing the above got a call, my mother has passed, in NY, so all of this is pretty much moot to me with the 14 day enforced quarantine BS. So, signing off for now.
So sorry.
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#190 Post by B. Buzzini » September 9th, 2020, 11:35 am

Kevin Harvey wrote:
September 8th, 2020, 6:41 pm
We are not picking fruit at Family Farm, Skyline, Alpine, Horseshoe or Centennial Mtn. Very painful but I guess it could be worse.

I hope other wineries are faring better. This is pretty devastating for everyone.
Sorry to hear that Kevin. Congrats on the 2018 scores from Vinous though! 99pts Horseshoe ungrafted pinot... [thumbs-up.gif]
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#191 Post by Roy Piper » September 9th, 2020, 8:53 pm

Today was unlike anything I remember here, even in 2017. Orange/yellow sky all day, very poor visibility. Peak temps of 67F in Calistoga (was 112F two days ago.)

Oddly, the actual air quality was better today than yesterday by looking at online meters. But it sure did not look that way. It was like waking up in Mordor.
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#192 Post by M. Taylor » September 10th, 2020, 7:16 am

The photos remind Me of the 80s movie “Night of the Comet”
Image
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#193 Post by Brian Tuite » September 10th, 2020, 3:29 pm

I was talking to a fairly prominent RRV Zinfandel grower today and he had me follow him out to his truck. He hands me a sample bottle and asks, do you smell anything? It was Zinfandel fermented near dry, I smelled nothing off, he said the client winery told him “it’s obvious smoke taint you can smell it.”

We couldn’t smell a thing. I’ve tasted lots of smoke tainted samples that smelled fine but tasted off. The smell usually comes after bottling not during fermentation. This was too loaded with lees cloudiness to be able to taste anything. They told him they’ll have test results back in 18 days. By then the fruit will be too ripe and they’ll likely pass on the fruit. Sucks to be him.
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#194 Post by Casey Hartlip » September 10th, 2020, 3:35 pm

Just had a client pass on 70 tons of Pinot......sucks to be me.
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#195 Post by larry schaffer » September 10th, 2020, 3:45 pm

Casey Hartlip wrote:
September 10th, 2020, 3:35 pm
Just had a client pass on 70 tons of Pinot......sucks to be me.
Sorry to hear that. Was it based on tests or something else?

Cheers.
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#196 Post by larry schaffer » September 10th, 2020, 3:50 pm

Brian Tuite wrote:
September 10th, 2020, 3:29 pm
I was talking to a fairly prominent RRV Zinfandel grower today and he had me follow him out to his truck. He hands me a sample bottle and asks, do you smell anything? It was Zinfandel fermented near dry, I smelled nothing off, he said the client winery told him “it’s obvious smoke taint you can smell it.”

We couldn’t smell a thing. I’ve tasted lots of smoke tainted samples that smelled fine but tasted off. The smell usually comes after bottling not during fermentation. This was too loaded with lees cloudiness to be able to taste anything. They told him they’ll have test results back in 18 days. By then the fruit will be too ripe and they’ll likely pass on the fruit. Sucks to be him.
As others have said, there are going to be a lot of 'gun shy' wineries out there due to issues in 2008 or 2018 - and the 'fear' that many are painting this vintage in a certain light. I'm hoping those samples come back perfect and that they are able to sell the fruit . . .

Cheers
larry schaffer
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#197 Post by Brian Tuite » September 10th, 2020, 3:56 pm

larry schaffer wrote:
September 10th, 2020, 3:50 pm
Brian Tuite wrote:
September 10th, 2020, 3:29 pm
I was talking to a fairly prominent RRV Zinfandel grower today and he had me follow him out to his truck. He hands me a sample bottle and asks, do you smell anything? It was Zinfandel fermented near dry, I smelled nothing off, he said the client winery told him “it’s obvious smoke taint you can smell it.”

We couldn’t smell a thing. I’ve tasted lots of smoke tainted samples that smelled fine but tasted off. The smell usually comes after bottling not during fermentation. This was too loaded with lees cloudiness to be able to taste anything. They told him they’ll have test results back in 18 days. By then the fruit will be too ripe and they’ll likely pass on the fruit. Sucks to be him.
As others have said, there are going to be a lot of 'gun shy' wineries out there due to issues in 2008 or 2018 - and the 'fear' that many are painting this vintage in a certain light. I'm hoping those samples come back perfect and that they are able to sell the fruit . . .

Cheers
So do I, he doesn’t have crop insurance. Maybe I take some and wing it with. Little help from my friends.
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#198 Post by Anton D » September 10th, 2020, 4:13 pm

Roy Piper wrote:
September 9th, 2020, 8:53 pm
Today was unlike anything I remember here, even in 2017. Orange/yellow sky all day, very poor visibility. Peak temps of 67F in Calistoga (was 112F two days ago.)

Oddly, the actual air quality was better today than yesterday by looking at online meters. But it sure did not look that way. It was like waking up in Mordor.
Mordor, for sure.

Kind of a mash up of Mordor and "The Upside Down" from Stranger Things here.
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#199 Post by Carole Meredith » September 10th, 2020, 4:35 pm

Brian Tuite wrote:
September 10th, 2020, 3:29 pm
He hands me a sample bottle and asks, do you smell anything? It was Zinfandel fermented near dry, I smelled nothing off, he said the client winery told him “it’s obvious smoke taint you can smell it.”

We couldn’t smell a thing. I’ve tasted lots of smoke tainted samples that smelled fine but tasted off. The smell usually comes after bottling not during fermentation.
In young wine, the smoke taint cannot be smelled because the grapes attach sugar molecules to the smoke taint molecules and these "bound" forms are odorless. The taint can often be detected in the mouth (but not the nose) because enzymes in saliva can break the two components apart again, leaving the smoke taint molecules unbound and able to be smelled retronasally.
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Re: Smoke taint 2020...

#200 Post by Brian Tuite » September 10th, 2020, 6:34 pm

Carole Meredith wrote:
September 10th, 2020, 4:35 pm
Brian Tuite wrote:
September 10th, 2020, 3:29 pm
He hands me a sample bottle and asks, do you smell anything? It was Zinfandel fermented near dry, I smelled nothing off, he said the client winery told him “it’s obvious smoke taint you can smell it.”

We couldn’t smell a thing. I’ve tasted lots of smoke tainted samples that smelled fine but tasted off. The smell usually comes after bottling not during fermentation.
In young wine, the smoke taint cannot be smelled because the grapes attach sugar molecules to the smoke taint molecules and these "bound" forms are odorless. The taint can often be detected in the mouth (but not the nose) because enzymes in saliva can break the two components apart again, leaving the smoke taint molecules unbound and able to be smelled retronasally.
Thanks Carole I thought so.

So if wineries are that sketchy about taint how do you think the public will be?
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