Exploring and Understanding Wildfire Impacts on Winemaking and Wine
With wildfires across the western U.S. growing in size, prominence and frequency during the growing season, the resulting smoke has become a critical concern for an increasing number of winegrowers in Oregon. The absorption and translocation of smoke-related compounds into grapes can result in wines that are unacceptably smoky in flavor. With a fairly limited volume of historical information on both the scientific and practical understanding of smoke-impacted wine, researchers, winemakers and laboratory service providers are working assiduously to determine the best methods of measuring these smoke-related compounds, learning what effective tools are available, and developing systems to make decisions that result in the best wines possible.
Professor Tom Collins, Ph.D., of Washington State University will present his research on the impact of smoke and provide a review of the subject. Jasha Karasek of Enartis will describe their methods for analysis and the protocols they are developing to mitigate smoke taint. Nichole Schulte, associate winemaker at Quady North and Barrel 42 Custom Winecraft will discuss hard-fought battles with smoke impact over multiple vintages. This session will include a tasting of winery trials examining methods to decrease the influence of smoke in wines made from smoke-affected grapes.
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Nichole Schulte is associate winemaker and partner of Quady North Winery and Barrel 42 Custom Winecraft, a custom crush house in Medford, Oregon specializing in high-end, small lot production. Nichole oversees all enological, technical and quality control aspects of winemaking, including a wide variety of still, sparkling, organic, canned and alternatively packaged wines. Barrel 42 works with diverse fruit sources from vineyards throughout Oregon to produce more than 70 labels per vintage.
Also a practicing attorney, Nichole studied wine law while attending Université Jean Moulin Lyon 3 in Lyon, France, where she gained a deep appreciation for all aspects of the wine industry.