The latest funding bill that was passed last month includes support for important winegrape research. The year-end omnibus funding bill and COVID-19 relief package provided funding support for investigating smoke taint in wine. The issue of smoke damage and how to adequately measure its impact on wine has been an increasing concern over the last few years.
The spending bill designates $1.5 million for research into the impact that smoke exposure has on the quality of winegrapes. The request for funding came as a joint effort of several winegrower groups from California, Oregon, and Washington. Devastating wildfires in those states in recent years have created substantial challenges for the wine industry. The additional funding is on top of the $2 million in support that was approved by Congress last year, for enhancing research efforts through the US Department of Agriculture.
Listen to the radio report below.