Smoke Taint Testing

In 2021, there were 58,985 wildfires, compared with 58,950 in 2020, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. About 7.1 million acres were burned in 2021, compared with 10.1 million in 2020.  Smoke testing and availability could not keep up with  demand, causing significant problems for wineries and growers. The fires of 2020 appear to have cost the wine industry $3.7 billion in losses that will be felt by wineries well into 2023.

 

Along with stepping up their wildfire prevention efforts, wineries are exploring tactics for dealing with potential smoke taint. There are only a few laboratories that test for smoke taint in the US market and the overflow in 2020 left many wineries with extensive lead times or closed out of testing all together.  

 

In 2021, Ellipse Analytics passed the rigorous assessment with ZERO non-conformances and is now offering smoke impact analysis as part of our scope of accredited services.

Ellipse Ananlytics has now been approved as a accredited provider of smoke taint testing by all three of the largest crop insurance carriers in the state of CA. These are:

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Samples for Testing​

  • Berries: If samples are carefully selected, berries can offer the most representative picture of smoke impact. To ensure validity of results, Ellipse Analytics recommends either submitting a sample containing grapes/berries from various regions or submitting multiple samples from representative areas. It is recommended to handle samples carefully trying to keep berries whole and ship samples cold. Samples should be collected close to the harvest date.

  • Wine: Analyzing wine samples is a useful tool for confirming smoke impact, since the wine making process can release bound smoke compounds. Samples from small-scale fermentations performed pre-harvest may be tested to confirm the impact of smoke compounds released during wine making. 

  • Juice: Smoke impact markers may be tested in juice samples, but since smoke compounds are primarily located in skins, whole berry testing or micro-fermentation is recommended to ensure the validity of results. 

Ellipse Analytics will Guarantee Members a Testing Spot!

  • Although it is difficult to prepare for the unpredictable forces of nature, Ellipse Analytics will provide vintners and growers a testing facility to help support producers impacted by wildfires by guaranteeing a fast turnaround for a set number of samples to those who join our membership program. Our membership fees are tiered by the estimated number of samples that will be submitted. View pricing and membership fees here.  Membership will guarantee a 3-5 day turnaround time and lock in a discounted price. To become a member and secure your spot, join here. Membership fees are non-refundable if testing is not required in a calendar year.

    • Testing is performed by Ellipse Analytics accredited laboratory in Denver, Colorado.

    • Turnaround time: 3-5 days guaranteed for members. Up to 9 days or more for non-members (timing based on demand and resources available at time of testing).

    • Cost per sample: Email for Pricing

    • The challenges of climate change won’t go away. Be prepared for the challenges of the future and partner with Ellipse Analytics to guarantee that you get the testing you need, when you need it. Email us to start!