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Leading smoke-taint scientist will help wineries prepare for future wildfires

SEATTLE (March 12, 2019) – Wildfires bring devastation to land and property, and in wine growing regions the smoke can affect the quality of the crop.  The impact of this smoke taint is the focus of the Washington Advancements in Viticulture and Enology (WAVEx) research seminar on April 17, 2019 in Richland, Washington.

Washington State Wine has funded research led by Washington State University’s Dr. Tom Collins, one of the nation’s leading smoke exposure scientists, since 2016. Collins developed a portable smoke hoop house to initiate smoking trials in WSU’s research vineyard so he could control when and the amount of smoke to the grapes. His project has studied the timing of exposure and the role of fuel source in smoke taint. He is also working to develop analytical methods to accurately predict the potential for smoke taint in wines and identify winemaking practices to mitigate smoke taint.

Collins will review the current state of smoke taint knowledge during the seminar and share the outcome of his first three years of study. The seminar will include tasting wines made from Collins’ smoke exposure timing trials, fuel source and mitigation through reverse osmosis.

The WAVEx seminar at the WSU-Tri-Cities campus is sponsored by Washington State Wine and WSU. WAVEx is a condensed version of the signature WAVE seminar. The purpose of WAVE is to raise awareness of Washington wine grape growers and wineries of industry-supported research, share research outcomes and encourage two-way communication between growers, vintners and scientists.

Pre-registration is required as seating is limited. Register here: WAVEx-Smoke Exposure.

About Washington State Wine

Washington State Wine represents every licensed winery and wine grape grower in Washington State. Guided by an appointed board, the mission of the WSW is to raise positive awareness and demand for Washington State wine through marketing and education while supporting viticulture and enology research to drive industry growth.  Funded almost entirely by the industry through assessments based on grape and wine sales, the WSW is a state government agency, established by the legislature in 1987. To learn more, visit www.washingtonwine.org.

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