Montana wine may soon be in high demand - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Montana wine may soon be in high demand

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Those devastating fires in California are not only destroying homes but also livelihoods of people who live in the area. That is because vineyards are threatened and multiple wineries have already burned to the ground. This may have an impact on Montanans.

According to wine distributor Kevin Hamlin it may be a long time before shipments of wine from areas like Napa Valley will make it to Montana. He said while many of the wineries have burned down, the warehouses still have barrels full of wine. But once those run out it could be up to a year before the wineries are up and running again. 

"The central coast area is where we will see more wine coming from because they are not affected by the fires so Paso Robles, Santa Maria Valley, those areas will still be able to ship," said Hamlin.

It's not just the amount of wine coming out of the valley that could change. Hamlin said we could see a very unique flavor as well.

"The ash from the fires will get into the barrels and the tanks and will contribute a smoky burnt taste and aromatics to the wine, " Said Hamlin. He said this happened to wineries in Oregon after the Biscuit Fire in 2002. He said some wineries had to dump out their entire batch. But one winery,  Troon Vineyard in the Applegate Valley, made a Cabernet Sauvignon and called it "Biscuit Fire Reserve."

There are no reports of burned vineyards but if this does happen, he said it could take three to five years for them to recover.
Hamlin added the upcoming holiday season is the highest for wine sales. And that could mean Montana wineries may be in higher demand.  

"Almost all their fruit comes from the Columbia Valley so they will be fine and might become more important there will be a lack of Napa, Sonoma and Modesto and Lake County wines," said Hamlin

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