Wineries impacted by smoke, less traffic in tasting rooms

MEDFORD, Ore – With the Rogue Valley being taken over by smoke, local wineries are seeing fewer crowds in their tasting rooms.

And while each year they battle rain and hail, they say the same is true with the smoke. They’re at the mercy of mother nature.

Growers say right now, the real threat is the drop in tourism that affects traffic to their tasting rooms.

As far as making the wine, wine maker Brian Gruber says it’s just something you have to adapt to.

“As a wine maker you deal with rain, you deal with hail, you deal with cold snaps, you deal with heat waves. You deal with years when you pick late and you pick early, and smoke is just another one of those factors that as a wine maker you need to understand,” Gruber said.

When the smoke blocks the sun, it affects photosynthesis. But as far as the grapes absorbing any smoke, that’s not the case right now.

Gruber says the grapes won’t absorb any smoke until they get softer. Gruber also said that despite the smoky summers, they have still made award winning wines.

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Anna Weeks
Anna Weeks is the anchor of NBC5 News at 5 and 11 and Your Place @7 with Anna Weeks. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Oregon State University with a degree in Digital Communication Arts and a minor in writing. Previously, she interned with the National Association of Broadcasters at the NAB Show in Las Vegas. Originally from the Portland area, Anna loves exploring Southern Oregon. In her free time, she enjoys reading, running, and watching sports.
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