How California wine country fires could affect price, taste of future bottles

Smoke billows from a fire burning in the mountains over Napa Valley, Friday, Oct. 13, 2017, in Oakville, Calif. Firefighters gained some ground on a blaze burning in the heart of California's wine country but face another tough day ahead with low humidity and high winds expected to return. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
Smoke billows from a fire burning in the mountains over Napa Valley, Friday, Oct. 13, 2017, in Oakville, Calif. Firefighters gained some ground on a blaze burning in the heart of California’s wine country but face another tough day ahead with low humidity and high winds expected to return. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli) (AP/Rich Pedroncelli)
Smoke continues to billow in the hills behind Napa, Calif., on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017. With the winds dying down, fire officials said Sunday they were finally getting the upper hand against the wildfires that have devastated California wine country and other parts of the state over the past week, and thousands of people got the all-clear to return home. (AP Photo/John Mone)
Smoke continues to billow in the hills behind Napa, Calif., on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017. With the winds dying down, fire officials said Sunday they were finally getting the upper hand against the wildfires that have devastated California wine country and other parts of the state over the past week, and thousands of people got the all-clear to return home. (AP Photo/John Mone) (AP/John Mone)
A home off Glen Eagle Court in Fountaingrove, lies in ruin in the devastation of a wildfire, Friday Oct. 13, 2017, in Santa Rosa, Calif. A fifth day of desperate firefighting in California wine country brought a glimmer of hope Friday as crews battling the flames reported their first progress toward containing the massive blazes, and hundreds more firefighters poured in to join the effort. (Kent Porter/The Press Democrat via AP)
A home off Glen Eagle Court in Fountaingrove, lies in ruin in the devastation of a wildfire, Friday Oct. 13, 2017, in Santa Rosa, Calif. A fifth day of desperate firefighting in California wine country brought a glimmer of hope Friday as crews battling the flames reported their first progress toward containing the massive blazes, and hundreds more firefighters poured in to join the effort. (Kent Porter/The Press Democrat via AP) (AP/Kent Porter)
Leaves hang to a grapevine that was burned by a massive wildfire Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017, in Sonoma, Calif. Gusting winds and dry air forecast for Thursday could drive the next wave of devastating wildfires that are already on their way to becoming the deadliest and most destructive in California history. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
Leaves hang to a grapevine that was burned by a massive wildfire Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017, in Sonoma, Calif. Gusting winds and dry air forecast for Thursday could drive the next wave of devastating wildfires that are already on their way to becoming the deadliest and most destructive in California history. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli) (AP/Rich Pedroncelli)
A wildfire from a distant mountain burns over a vineyard in Kenwood, Calif., Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017. Some of the largest blazes in Northern California were in Napa and Sonoma counties, home to dozens of wineries that attract tourists from around the world. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
A wildfire from a distant mountain burns over a vineyard in Kenwood, Calif., Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017. Some of the largest blazes in Northern California were in Napa and Sonoma counties, home to dozens of wineries that attract tourists from around the world. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu) (AP/Jeff Chiu)
A wildfire burns behind a winery Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017, in Santa Rosa, Calif. Fire crews made progress this week in their efforts to contain the massive wildfires in California wine country, but officials say strong winds are putting their work to the test. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
A wildfire burns behind a winery Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017, in Santa Rosa, Calif. Fire crews made progress this week in their efforts to contain the massive wildfires in California wine country, but officials say strong winds are putting their work to the test. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) (AP/Jae C. Hong)
A sign tells people that the historic Gundlach Bundschu winery is still standing, Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017, in this view near Sonoma, Calif. Workers in Northern California's renowned wine country picked through charred debris and weighed what to do with pricey grapes after wildfires swept through lush vineyards and destroyed at least two wineries and damaged many others. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
A sign tells people that the historic Gundlach Bundschu winery is still standing, Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017, in this view near Sonoma, Calif. Workers in Northern California’s renowned wine country picked through charred debris and weighed what to do with pricey grapes after wildfires swept through lush vineyards and destroyed at least two wineries and damaged many others. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg) (AP/Eric Risberg)
The remains of a burned bottle of wine are seen at the Signorello Estate winery Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017, in Napa, Calif. Worried California vintners surveyed the damage to their vineyards and wineries Tuesday after wildfires swept through several counties whose famous names have become synonymous with fine food and drink. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
The remains of a burned bottle of wine are seen at the Signorello Estate winery Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017, in Napa, Calif. Worried California vintners surveyed the damage to their vineyards and wineries Tuesday after wildfires swept through several counties whose famous names have become synonymous with fine food and drink. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg) (AP/Eric Risberg)
Damage to wine making vats and barrels at the production house of Paradise Ridge Winery from a wildfire are seen on Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017 in Santa Rosa, Calif. An onslaught of wildfires across a wide swath of Northern California broke out almost simultaneously then grew exponentially, swallowing up properties from wineries to trailer parks and tearing through both tiny rural towns and urban subdivisions. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Damage to wine making vats and barrels at the production house of Paradise Ridge Winery from a wildfire are seen on Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017 in Santa Rosa, Calif. An onslaught of wildfires across a wide swath of Northern California broke out almost simultaneously then grew exponentially, swallowing up properties from wineries to trailer parks and tearing through both tiny rural towns and urban subdivisions. (AP Photo/Ben Margot) (AP/Ben Margot)
The remains of burned bottles of wine are seen at the Signorello Estate winery Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017, in Napa, Calif. Worried California vintners surveyed the damage to their vineyards and wineries Tuesday after wildfires swept through several counties whose famous names have become synonymous with fine food and drink. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
The remains of burned bottles of wine are seen at the Signorello Estate winery Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017, in Napa, Calif. Worried California vintners surveyed the damage to their vineyards and wineries Tuesday after wildfires swept through several counties whose famous names have become synonymous with fine food and drink. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg) (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
The ground smolders along the vineyard at Old Hill Ranch Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017, near Glen Ellen, Calif. Workers in Northern California's renowned wine country picked through charred debris and weighed what to do with pricey grapes after wildfires swept through lush vineyards and destroyed at least two wineries and damaged many others. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
The ground smolders along the vineyard at Old Hill Ranch Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017, near Glen Ellen, Calif. Workers in Northern California’s renowned wine country picked through charred debris and weighed what to do with pricey grapes after wildfires swept through lush vineyards and destroyed at least two wineries and damaged many others. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg) (AP/Eric Risberg)
A rack of burned bottles of wine are seen at the Signorello Estate winery Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017, in Napa, Calif. Worried California vintners surveyed the damage to their vineyards and wineries Tuesday after wildfires swept through several counties whose famous names have become synonymous with fine food and drink. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
A rack of burned bottles of wine are seen at the Signorello Estate winery Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017, in Napa, Calif. Worried California vintners surveyed the damage to their vineyards and wineries Tuesday after wildfires swept through several counties whose famous names have become synonymous with fine food and drink. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg) (AP/Eric Risberg)
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Smoke billows from a fire burning in the mountains over Napa Valley, Friday, Oct. 13, 2017, in Oakville, Calif. Firefighters gained some ground on a blaze burning in the heart of California's wine country but face another tough day ahead with low humidity and high winds expected to return. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
Smoke continues to billow in the hills behind Napa, Calif., on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017. With the winds dying down, fire officials said Sunday they were finally getting the upper hand against the wildfires that have devastated California wine country and other parts of the state over the past week, and thousands of people got the all-clear to return home. (AP Photo/John Mone)
A home off Glen Eagle Court in Fountaingrove, lies in ruin in the devastation of a wildfire, Friday Oct. 13, 2017, in Santa Rosa, Calif. A fifth day of desperate firefighting in California wine country brought a glimmer of hope Friday as crews battling the flames reported their first progress toward containing the massive blazes, and hundreds more firefighters poured in to join the effort. (Kent Porter/The Press Democrat via AP)
Leaves hang to a grapevine that was burned by a massive wildfire Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017, in Sonoma, Calif. Gusting winds and dry air forecast for Thursday could drive the next wave of devastating wildfires that are already on their way to becoming the deadliest and most destructive in California history. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
A wildfire from a distant mountain burns over a vineyard in Kenwood, Calif., Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017. Some of the largest blazes in Northern California were in Napa and Sonoma counties, home to dozens of wineries that attract tourists from around the world. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
A wildfire burns behind a winery Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017, in Santa Rosa, Calif. Fire crews made progress this week in their efforts to contain the massive wildfires in California wine country, but officials say strong winds are putting their work to the test. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
A sign tells people that the historic Gundlach Bundschu winery is still standing, Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017, in this view near Sonoma, Calif. Workers in Northern California's renowned wine country picked through charred debris and weighed what to do with pricey grapes after wildfires swept through lush vineyards and destroyed at least two wineries and damaged many others. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
The remains of a burned bottle of wine are seen at the Signorello Estate winery Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017, in Napa, Calif. Worried California vintners surveyed the damage to their vineyards and wineries Tuesday after wildfires swept through several counties whose famous names have become synonymous with fine food and drink. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
Damage to wine making vats and barrels at the production house of Paradise Ridge Winery from a wildfire are seen on Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017 in Santa Rosa, Calif. An onslaught of wildfires across a wide swath of Northern California broke out almost simultaneously then grew exponentially, swallowing up properties from wineries to trailer parks and tearing through both tiny rural towns and urban subdivisions. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
The remains of burned bottles of wine are seen at the Signorello Estate winery Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017, in Napa, Calif. Worried California vintners surveyed the damage to their vineyards and wineries Tuesday after wildfires swept through several counties whose famous names have become synonymous with fine food and drink. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
The ground smolders along the vineyard at Old Hill Ranch Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017, near Glen Ellen, Calif. Workers in Northern California's renowned wine country picked through charred debris and weighed what to do with pricey grapes after wildfires swept through lush vineyards and destroyed at least two wineries and damaged many others. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
A rack of burned bottles of wine are seen at the Signorello Estate winery Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017, in Napa, Calif. Worried California vintners surveyed the damage to their vineyards and wineries Tuesday after wildfires swept through several counties whose famous names have become synonymous with fine food and drink. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

WASHINGTON — Wildfires are devastating California’s wine country, and as people there wait and try to regroup, wine experts say there’s no denying there will be an impact on the industry — and perhaps the flavor of certain wines consumers buy.

It was an early harvest in Sonoma and Napa counties, which is both good and bad depending on the winery.

“We had an early season — a dry, hot season — and the wine was already in the wineries. Those are gone. The 2017 harvest for a lot of places are already gone,” said WTOP wine columnist Scott Greenberg.

Nonprofit trade association Napa Valley Vinters says 20 wineries, as of Oct. 16, are affected, and while most wine retailers and restaurants buy their vino months in advance, eventually it could mean an uptick in prices with a lower than average production year.

“And many of these wineries had their 2016 and in some cases 2015 bottles in their wineries when they went up in flames,” Greenberg said, though he doesn’t think it will have a significant impact on the price of wine in the future.

There is also the possibility that certain wines will take on a smoky flavor due to the fires. The trade association writes that 90 percent of the harvest is in, but the grapes still on the vine are almost entirely cabernet sauvignon.

“Wineries able to assemble crews and safely get to their vineyards are continuing to harvest grapes. We anticipate all remaining grapes will be picked in the next week to 10 days,” the trade association said.

“Going forward it’ll be interesting. There will be a smoky flavor, no pun intended. Because it can infuse … the flavor into the wine. So, were just going to have to wait and see,” Greenberg said.

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