OSU offers testing of wines and grapes for effects of wildfire smoke

In the wake of the 2020 wildfires, it was apparent to grape growers, winemakers and researchers that an Oregon-based testing facility for potentially smoke-impacted grapes and wine was needed.

The Department of Food Science and Technology at Oregon State University was granted state funds after significant lobbying by the Oregon wine industry to open such a facility. The lab is currently being built and will be a state-of-the-art facility located in Wiegand Hall, home of the Department of Food Science and Technology. The lab is to be completed in early 2023. Despite the ongoing construction, we are ready to begin chemical testing needed by Oregon grape growers and winemakers to measure for smoke impact.

The goal of the Smoked Wine and Grapes Chemistry Laboratory is to provide accurate and timely information needed for the wine industry to make informed decisions about their potentially smoke-exposed grapes. Priority will be given to the Oregon wine grape industry. Our current equipment capabilities allow smoke analyses of both bound- and free-phenol data on grapes and wine. The analysis will include measurements for guaiacol, 4-methylguaiacol and all three cresol derivatives.

Tests and costs

Samples may be submitted as grapes or wines. There are quantity discounts, and turnaround time on sample results will be days, not weeks. A table below provides the cost per sample.

1 sample 2-10 samples 11+ samples
Bound-phenol analysis* $270/sample $265/sample $250/sample
Free-phenol analysis $225/sample $220/sample $210/sample

*Bound-phenol analysis is performed using acid hydrolysis, requiring an additional day to process samples.

Best practices for handling samples for analysis

  • If you are having grapes measured for smoke-exposure, freeze your samples prior to submission if you are unable to submit them immediately.
  • Grapes and grape juice samples should be 5–6 clusters minimum or 50 mL juice minimum. Ship overnight or drop off immediately.
  • Wine samples: It is recommended to use small scale micro- or nano-ferments to generate wine samples faster.
  • Fermented wines should be a minimum 50 mL in sealed containers in accordance with your preferred shipper’s guidelines. Ship 1–to–3-day shipping.
  • When ready, send your samples as soon as possible. Samples are processed in the order that they are received, so sending your samples in as early as possible will ensure a timelier turnaround in receiving data.
  • Make sure your samples are labeled clearly with name, contact details, variety/cultivar and date.

Who to contact

If you have questions about the lab or analysis, contact Cole Cerrato. Cole is an analytical chemist and assistant professor senior research in OSU’s Department of Food Science and Technology. He manages the facility, performs all experiments, and disseminates the data to the customers. To inquire about getting samples tested, contact Cole.

Where to ship or drop off samples

Prior to dropping off or shipping samples, please contact Cole to discuss tests desired, the anticipated timeframe for receiving samples and to go over any questions.

The office is open to receive samples 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Grape clusters and unfermented juices should be sent by Thursday at the latest so that they are received before the office closes Friday afternoon.

Shipping and drop-off address:
3051 SW Campus Way
100 Weigand Hall
Corvallis, OR 97331

Previously titled
OSU smoke testing service for wine and grapes

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