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Smoke exposure of grapevines and the development of smoke-related characteristics in the resulting wines is an increasing issue for the wine industry. As Australia faces a warming climate with more bushfires, smoke exposure in vineyards is becoming more regular.
Wines made from grapes exposed to smoke during sensitive growth stages can exhibit aromas and flavours resembling smoked meat, disinfectant, leather, salami and ashtrays. Where unfavourable smoke characteristics are detected by consumers at high concentrations the wine may be unpalatable. Unsalable wines result in financial losses for producers with costs flowing on to wine brands, market presence and future sales.
Few tools and techniques are currently available to remedy the problem of smoke effect in grapes and wine, however a significant advancement has been the development of the Smoke Taint Risk calculator. The risk calculator (known as STAR) was developed by researchers at the Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia (DAFWA) and The University of Western Australia (UWA) and predicts the seasonal sensitivity of grapevines to smoke uptake and smoke flavour development in wine.
Number of Pages
Smoke, Viticulture, Winemaking
Viticulture and Oenology
Brodison, K. (2013), Effect of smoke in grape and wine production. Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Western Australia, Perth. Bulletin 4847.