Published in WSU Viticulture and Enology News
By Melissa Hansen, Washington State Wine Commission
Smoke exposure in vineyards is an urgent issue, and Washington State University (WSU) researchers are leading the charge to address it. Four years ago, the Washington State Wine Commission’s (WSWC) board of directors approved the Wine Research Advisory Committee’s recommendation to support a WSU-led smoke exposure research project, though at the time many saw smoke events as rare, isolated and regional, and not a high priority. In Australia, researchers began studying smoke exposure on grapes in the early 2000s, but in 2016, WSU was among the first in the United States to commit funding to better understand its impact.
To date, the Washington wine industry has directed over $365,000 toward WSU’s smoke exposure research program led by Dr. Tom Collins. He has shared research findings at several WAVE (Washington Advancements in Viticulture and Enology) seminars and webinars and industry meetings, including a webinar on September 16 titled Smoke Status in Washington. His most recent report is archived on the Wine Commission’s website.
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