NVG recommends growers take the following immediate steps when dealing with any level of smoke exposure:
Communicate early and often with wineries/purchasing partners to propose vineyard and winery mitigation strategies and a unified approach to reducing risk and losses. - Read about Mitigating Losses with Winery Partners on our Preparedness page
Prior to any fire event, familiarize yourself with recommended lab sampling protocols and guidelines, as well as your insurance company’s specific sampling criteria. - Read NVG's 5-Step Testing Process for Crop Insurance Claims (access through the Members-Only button below) - Review the tech sheet provided by NVG Strategic Partner ETS Labs below - Follow sampling protocols recommended by the West Coast Smoke Exposure Task Force and other groups listed below - Plan to do your own testing, even if it will also be done by winery/purchaser - Consider taking benchmark samples prior to harvest and/or freezing additional samples for future testing and research
If you have crop insurance, review your policy and eligibility requirements with an agent. - Note: Crop insurance will likely not cover loss of grape sales without corresponding lab results
If you do not have crop insurance, testing is still recommended as documentation for applying for disaster assistance. - Review disaster assistance options as they become available - Note: at this time, there is currently no state or federal disaster assistance for crop losses due to smoke taint
Review and consider updating your grape contracts with smoke exposure provisions. - Visit NVG's Tools for Grape Sales resources for contract language pertaining to smoke exposure
Protect the health and safety of vineyard workers. - Read about Health & Safety on our Emergency Steps page
Take care of your vineyard. - Vines are resilient to heat and smoke exposure when properly cared for - Extra irrigation may be beneficial for vines close to fires or significant smoke - Continue to follow best practices for managing your vineyard even if concerned about crop losses
ETS Labs NVG has partnered with ETS Labs, NVG Strategic Sponsor, to help members prepare for harvest season and the potential for future fire events.
What You Can Expect: Significant changes have been made within the laboratory since the 2020 season, which presented unprecedented challenges with fires burning across the entire west coast. Preparation includes improved sample throughput capabilities and added additional GC/MS and GC/MSMS units, which has allowed ETS to nearly double the number of samples they are able to run per day.