Smoke in the barrel

How science is helping grape and wine producers overcome the effects of bushfire smoke taint

In recent years, the destructive impact of bushfires has been felt worldwide, and their frequency and ferocity is only expected to increase as our climate warms.

The loss of life and property is a constant and familiar threat. For the wine industry, however, there’s another cause for concern – smoke taint. Leaving wine with smokey, burnt aromas and a lingering retro-nasal ash character, it’s led to significant losses for producers, both locally and overseas.

Consequently, considerable research has been undertaken to identify how the challenge can best be met; and this presentation will bring you right up to speed.

You’ll hear how smoke taint is evaluated in grapes and wine, how vineyard management practices and winemaking techniques can reduce its intensity, and what can be done to remove it altogether.

The presenter

Dr Kerry Wilkinson is an Associate Professor of Oenology in the University of Adelaide’s School of Agriculture, Food and Wine. Kerry leads a productive wine chemistry research group investigating the influence of environment, viticultural management practices and winemaking techniques on grape and wine composition and sensory properties.

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