What We Know about Grape Smoke Exposure Impacts

2020 saw unprecedented wildfire impacts to the vintage in both the northern and southern hemispheres. It is widely understood that wine grape vineyards exposed to fresh wildfire smoke can result in the loss of grape quality and render crops unsuitable for fine wine production. However, too often growers, winemakers and managers lack the knowledge and tools needed to make timely, informed decisions about the status of wine grapes exposed to smoke and how to prevent or mitigate damage when smoke events occur. The lack of science-based information and effective tools leads to uncertainty and the potential for greater losses than should otherwise occur.

Dr. Anita Oberholster will identify key findings and knowledge gaps challenging industry operators about the real impacts of smoke on grapes.

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Speaker Bios

Even as a child in Texas, Anthony King dreamed of living as a science nerd among the hipsters and fir trees of the Northwest. He made it, finally, after a circuitous path leading from textbooks to UC Davis and seven years at Acacia Winery in Napa. Finally here, Lemelson Vineyards held his attention and focus for eight years before he started his own consulting company. Aside from consulting as general manager at the Carlton Winemakers Studio, Anthony’s specialty appears to be making wine for some of the smallest producers in the Willamette Valley, including his wildly successful but almost entirely unknown brand, Ratio Wines.
Dr. Anita Oberholster completed her Ph.D. in wine sciences at the University of Adelaide, Australia in 2008. She moved to the department of viticulture and enology at UC Davis as a cooperative extension specialist in 2011, from her role as researcher at the department of viticulture and oenology at Stellenbosch University. In her current position she focuses on continued education for the grape and wine industry while her research program concentrates on current issues in the grape and wine industry. Research include the impact of climate on grape ripening and phenolic development, grapevine red blotch disease and smoke exposure in the vineyard. The impact of different winemaking techniques on wine composition and quality is also a major focus. Her work has been cited 1,033 times and she has presented her research at international and national conferences, seminars and workshops 177 times.

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