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Oregon Researchers Get Federal Funds to Study Smoke Taint in Wine

Plus, Akadi goes on hiatus, and more news to start your day

Hazy skies hang over a vineyard in wine country
Wildfire smoke in a Molalla vineyard
Deborah Bloom/AFP via Getty Images
Brooke Jackson-Glidden is the editor of Eater Portland.

The Federal Government Has Set Aside $1.5 Million to Study Smoke Taint in Wine

The spending bill just passed by Congress is investing in the study of smoke taint in wine, an issue that has become significant and, in some cases, financially devastating for winemakers and vineyards throughout the Willamette Valley. Smoke taint refers to the chemical and, in most cases, flavor-based impact of wildfire smoke on wine grapes; earlier this year, during the pinot noir harvest in the Willamette Valley, wildfires throughout the state sent gusts of contaminated air and smoke through vineyards, which made many of those wine growers and winemakers nervous about the potential impact on the vintage. This new influx of cash will give researchers a better idea of how smoke taint works and, hopefully, how to prepare for and manage it. $300,000 of the allocated funds will go to researchers at Oregon State University, who have been studying these effects this year; another $400,000 will go to representatives from the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service in Corvallis. [Portland Business Journal]

Akadi Goes on Hiatus

Like so many restaurants and bars like it — Reel M Inn, Magna, and Oregon Public House, to name a few — the West African restaurant Akadi is closing down temporarily to withstand the financial impact of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The restaurant will serve its last order of mafe and attieke poisson on December 31, and hopes to reopen in a larger location as soon as June. Owner Fatou Ouattara told Portland Monthly that she was planning on opening in a larger location in 2020, but with business taking the usual nosedive thanks to the pandemic, it didn’t seem like a feasible option this year. Those who don’t think they can manage six months without Ouattara’s food will soon be able to find her bottled hot sauces and vegan dishes in the deli section of Green Zebra groceries. [PoMo]

In Other News...

Oregon landlords are suing the state and Multnomah County for the renewed eviction bans. [PBJ]
• Congress finally passed a $900 billion COVID-19 relief package last night, complete with $600 stimulus payments for citizens. Those who feel financially able to donate that money can find a few options to support restaurant workers and food-insecure Oregonians here. [Vox]
An Oregon-made wine made Wine Spectator’s Top 10 wines of the year. Beaux Frères’ Pinot Noir Ribbon Ridge The Beaux Frères Vineyard 2018 clocked in at 9th on the overall top 100. [WS]