Hill Laboratories providing urgent support to US wine industry
Hill Laboratories provides urgent support to the wine industry in the United States, testing samples from grape growers and wineries potentially impacted by the West Coast wildfires.
As one of New Zealand’s largest privately-owned, independent analytical laboratories, Hill Laboratories has been subcontracted under ISO 17025 guidelines by ETS Laboratories (the largest independent wine lab in the U.S.) to test samples from American growers potentially impacted by the fires.
This year’s wildfire season has burned millions of acres across California, Oregon, and Washington, placing overwhelming pressure on local firefighters, businesses, and residents.
The three states most heavily impacted by the current fires are also the main grape growing regions in the country.
The fires covered a very wide area, but only a tiny fraction of that area is planted to wine grapes. Every location is different, and smoke exposure may be transitory and as little as none at all. Any fire impacts will certainly not be to the entire vintage in any of the affected winegrowing regions.
It is far too early for anyone to speculate as to the extent of impact in areas where smoke was persistent.
In an abundance of caution, many growers and wineries are requesting smoke impact testing in grapes and wine from local laboratories, placing pressure on those labs.
Hill Labs has a long-standing collaborative relationship with ETS Laboratories, and received significant numbers of subcontracted samples from them over recent weeks.
Chief Executive Officer of Hill Laboratories, Dr. Jonno Hill, says it feels good to support an industry in such dire need, and the Hill team “worked well with the team at ETS, as both companies have high quality standards and very experienced scientists working with state-of-the-art technology”.
“Our thoughts are with those individuals and businesses in California, Oregon, and Washington who have been impacted by the devastating fires. We know the team at ETS have worked through substantial challenges as the Glass fire impacted their laboratory operations in the Napa Valley, as well as their homes, and it is fortunate that we were in a position to be able to offer them our support.”