Wildfires have increasingly plagued some of the world’s most important wine regions over the past two decades, with notable fires in Australia, California, and recently in France. In 2020, over 10% of the Californian grape crop was not harvested. That same year, Australia had to discard more than 4% of the country’s grape crop. 2021 and 2022 are proving to be equally if not more devastating for the global wine industry. These fires are causing hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of revenue losses for the global wine industry annually.
The damaged vineyards and equipment are only part of the story. Previous wild fires have had a direct impact on insurance premiums with many growers opting to claim and discard their harvest rather than risk poor product, this has driven up premiums and insurance excess charges which directly impacts the cost of further claims. Winemakers are at risk of investing time and costly resources towards processing a harvest of which the wines cannot reasonably be brought to market or having to write off entire vintages despite its potential to deliver decent wines.
Smoke-induced wine faults will usually be identified during fermentation, but the full extent of the fault may only be realised months later as foul-tasting compounds are released during storage and upon tasting.
When volatile phenols (VPs) from wildfire smoke reach grapevines, it can diminish the quality of downstream wines. These volatile organic compounds are associated with the aroma of smoke. Ash, burnt rubber, medicinal aromas, and a drying, ashy aftertaste are common smoke taint attributes found in wine.
Research has documented that Structan, as a masking agent, can successfully bring woody attributed to the fore, retain fruitiness, and reduce definitive smokiness, Structan as a finishing agent can go a long way as a means of improving the marketability of wines made from smoke-exposed grapes.
Structan can help winemakers improve the palatability and market acceptance of wines made from smoke-exposed grapes. Structan allows winemakers peace of mind that they’ve minimised the risk of unpalatable wines finally reaching their customers and destroying their brand.
We have an extensive white paper on smoke taint and Structan, please reach out to us and we will be happy to provide the full whitepaper including 2 university studies and a detailed treatment protocol for your smoke taint challenges. Click below and enter your email address to receive the paper.