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Wildfires taint West Coast vineyards with taste of smoke

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Posted at 4:43 AM, Sep 24, 2020

TURNER, Ore. (AP) - Smoke from the West Coast wildfires has tainted grapes in some of the nation's most celebrated wine regions.

The resulting ashy flavor could spell disaster for the 2020 vintage.

The smoke from this year's blazes has been especially bad - thick enough to obscure vineyards drooping with clusters of grapes almost ready for harvest.

Growers are trying to assess the extent of the smoke damage in California, Oregon and Washington.

John Aguirre is president of the California Association of Winegrape Growers.

He says the fires will be the single worst disaster the wine-grape growing community has ever faced.