PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Wine merchants are keeping a close watch on the California wildfires that have destroyed thousands of homes and businesses.
Had the fires broken out a month ago, wine makers and wine lovers would be looking at a catastrophe. But Ali Duloc of Karamoor Estate Wines in Montgomery County says about 90 percent of the grapes have already been harvested.
“They’re pretty far ahead of us as far as ripening goes,” she said. “The only grape that should be left hanging at all there is Cabernet Sauvignon.”
A hearty, thick-skinned grape that should be able to withstand the smoke.
“Depending on where the smoke is, of course. If it’s like basically in the vineyards maybe it will be a little more prominent,” she said. “I’d be pretty hesitant to say that the average drinker would be able to notice anything.”
Next year’s vintage is likely to be more expensive as wine makers face lower yield. The firestorms have torched hundreds of thousands of acres of grape vines.
“Their yields certainly will go down because I believe a couple hundred thousand acres of vines were torched,” Duloc said. “So we may see a jump in price just because there’s less of it.”