California wildfires impact on local, national wine supply

California wildfires impact on local, national wine supply (ABC7)

Deadly wildfires devastate California’s wine industry. Dozens of vineyards continue to burn as businesses struggle to recover, but what does this mean for vineyards in the Commonwealth?

“To see wineries ablaze is very saddening to us working in the industry,” said Peter Dimmick.

Dimmick is a wine expert at The Winery at Bull Run in Centerville. It’s one of Virginia’s top wine producers.

“We’ve seen a steady increase for Virginia wine year after year. I think that trend is going to continue regardless of what’s going on in northern California,” he said.

As for the cost of wine.

“I don’t think it will affect our prices,” he added. “It’s too early to tell how it will affect California prices.”

Some California vineyards could feel the effects of the wildfires for three to five years, because that’s how long it takes to grow mature vines that produce the best tasting grapes.

“If you go by a vineyard and you see a lot of these [young vines], you know they are just starting out,” Dimmick explained. “You’ll get fruit in the first couple of years, but it’s not going to be usable for wine.”

The older the vine better the wine. Some of the vineyards in California are more than a century old.

And even if vineyards there survive Dimmick said “you can get certain taste changes by the introduction of smoke. It’s going to import some flavor. Maybe not good ones.”

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