California wildfires could drive up costs for local wine buyers

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)

BERLIN CENTER, Ohio (WYTV) – As wildfires race through Northern California, thousands of acres of wine country have been damaged and destroyed. 

For many wineries around the country, they rely on those vineyards for their products.

Many local wineries import grapes from California, along with growing their own, specifically grapes used to make dry red wines.

Luckily for wineries, harvesting happened early this year and the majority have finished their California grape purchases.

The trouble doesn’t end when the wildfires do, though.

Local winemaker Dan Mastropietro said the coming season will be when we see the grape shortages. If vineyards out west do decide to replant, it could take up to five years to yield any grapes from newly-planted vines.

Mastropietro said that could leave local wine buyers seeing the effects.

“Lack of quantity of any item, the price always goes up, so the grape price will go up, obviously. The price of the bottle will go up,” he said.

Mastropietro said grapes that weren’t destroyed in California could also be bought up by wineries out there looking to rebuild. Grapes that survived the fires run the risk of having a smokey flavor in them.

Those smokey grapes are unusable for wine.

Mastropietro hasn’t spoken with his particular broker about their grapes so he won’t know the full extent of the damage until the wildfires stop.

The burned remains of the Signorello Estate winery are seen 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.
The burned remains of the Signorello Estate winery are seen 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)