Concerns about smoke taint from this year’s wildfires could prove to be very expensive for some Oregon grape growers. A California wine company has canceled contracts to purchase at least 2,000 tons of wine grapes from Southern Oregon growers because of concern over smoke contamination from wildfires. Capital Press reports Copper Cane Wines & Provisions based in Napa Valley told growers as recently as late September that it would not buy the grapes.
John Pratt, president of the Rogue Valley Winegrowers Association and owner of Celestina Vineyard in Medford, says Copper Cane rejected the grapes valued at $4 million, leaving the fruit to rot on the vine. Pratt said vineyard owners tested and found that the levels of certain compounds released by burning wood that indicate smoke taint in fruit were below cause for concern.
A representative for Copper Cane didn’t return messages for comment.
If you have a story idea for the Washington Ag Network, call (509) 547-1618, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org