Wildfires burning in California and southern Oregon have recently draped a blanket of haze over the Portland metro area, and more specifically, countless vineyards.
And there’s concern the weather could impact wine production.
While wildfires can affect production locally, smoke can have a more wide-reaching effect, and growers say they’ve certainly seen more of it in recent years.
Over an extended period of time, haze can alter the taste of grapes.
According to winemaker David Anderson, the northern Willamette Valley has been lucky so far this season.
But close to the Oregon-California border, that’s not the case.
Anderson told FOX 12 he’s noticed that with each passing season, the threat to local wineries is becoming more imminent.
He said last year was especially bad, with close to a full week of smoke in the air.
“When I first started in this industry this was not even talked about,” Anderson explained. “It’s definitely something that’s on the mind of wine growers, wine makers and the industry as a whole… till we figure out some sort of solution.”
Anderson has been making wine since the early 80s, and said he’s never had a crop ruined or altered by smoke, but he’s concerned changes in the climate may eventually break his streak.
Anderson said that because the wine industry is so big here in Oregon, any financial impacts it experiences can have a ripple effect on the local economy.