Harvesting grapes from vines that have been exposed to bushfire smoke can result in wines containing smoke taint, commonly described as having “smoky, burnt and ash” aromas and “cigarette, ashtray, acrid and metallic” flavours. It is believed that smoke particles and associated aroma compounds enter the vine by absorbing onto the protective waxy cuticle layer or moving into the stomata on leaves and thereafter finding their way through the phloem into grapes. Research conducted over the past few years (mostly in Australia) has led to the development of guidelines on how to handle smoke tainted fruit.

Here is an adapted version of the proposed guidelines.

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