[Washington – June 8, 2021] Washington’s Betz Family Winery announced today that it would not be releasing a 2020 vintage due to smoke taint caused by last year’s wildfires. It also announced its sister winery in Oregon, SUNU Wines, would not be releasing a 2020 vintage either.
“As you can imagine, this was an absolutely brutal decision,” the Griessels said. “Our team has been hopeful since harvest that certain lots might be salvageable, but after countless hours of evaluation we believed this was our only option. The idea that we would release any wine that we had reservations about, or that a wine we released might start to develop deepening smoke taint indicators post-bottling, was something we just couldn’t stomach. In the end, our commitment to quality is paramount and something we cannot compromise.”
Currently there is no insurance available for damage or loss due to smoke/ash exposure. Wineries and growers bear the full brunt of the financial impact, a very difficult proposition for small producers, many of whom are currently wrestling with the impact of the 2020 fires.