Wine, Wine Blog

Smoke may have tainted some grapes on the vine

As with so much smoke in life, time will tell

Despite the note of optimism I sounded in my previous post, it turns out that some grapes have absorbed too much smoke to be of any use for winemaking. A story in the San Francisco Chronicle from November 3 featured a couple of growers who will not be able to sell their harvest.

Even for those of us fairly far away, the vapor was toxic. For a few days our windows remained shut and walks were canceled for the smoke that hung low and heavy. It stung in the back of the throat. It hurt the eyes. The ash clung to our cars. Imagine smoke several times thicker smothering the vines. How could the fruit remain untainted?

The dormancy of the next few months may help the vines regenerate. Maybe next year the plants will bear good fruit. With luck, farmers will be able to look at this year philosophically – the natural ups and downs in the journey called life.

Some other news.

Over the past three or so months, I’ve been writing a piece for the online magazine Wine Country this Month, an imprint of Wine Country this Week. It is fun. I learn about the different parts of California at a detailed level. But for the assignments, I would never delve that deep into the nooks and crannies of the towns my editor wants me to cover. Hiking trails, museums, artists, and, of course, wineries. Some are hidden; some have strong marketing departments. All are interesting.

At the suggestion of a friend, I am posting links to two of the most recent articles. They are titled Destination: Paso Robles and Destination: San Luis Obispo. You will have to flip the online pages to get to them. Ever the Luddite, I nevertheless like that this magazine format comes as close to the paper as possible: It is actually pretty cool.

And one more thing. Somehow my byline didn’t make it into the Paso Robles piece. It happens.

Photo credit: Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance

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