FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) – With the increasing number of wildfires across the state, the smoke has been a real challenge for grape growers who send their crops to area wineries.

Researcher at Fresno State’s Jordan School of Agriculture, Debra Wong, says when grapes are exposed to wildfire smoke they accumulate compounds that can make wine taste bad.

Finding out just how bad, is something that researchers like Debra Wong hope to discover through her project at Fresno State’s Jordan School of Agriculture.  Wong is part of a project to develop a scale for grading the smell of smoke in wine.

Dr. Miguel Pedroza says when we take these grapes and turn them into wine, some of the wines are showing a smokey character.

Here is how the project works. A number of wine samples are given out to a controlled number of people. 

Those folks try multiple glasses, each with a different amount of smoke in it. Once the person can begin to detect the smell of smoke that sample is recorded.