AS the state government offers free testing to vignerons to help them detect smoke damage in their grapes, Orange's vineyards have discovered they will also take a hit despite the closest bushfires burning more than 80 kilometres away.
Orange Region Vignerons Association president Nicole Samodol said some vineyards already had their results and others were still waiting.
But she remained tight-lipped on which vineyards had been affected and the overall number so far.
"We don't have a picture of the region yet," she said.
"There's fruit that can be made into wine and there's fruit where smoke has had an impact that won't be used."
Few vineyards were affected after the 2018 bushfires on Mount Canobolas but while the closest recent bushfires were located near Mudgee and Lithgow, Orange experienced weeks of smoke haze during November and December.
Ms Samodol said there was no correlation between altitude and affected grapes and no particular grape varieties were more susceptible to smoke taint.
"It's quite random - some of the findings from the 2018 bushfires have been disproved from the testing and analysis that's coming back from this year," she said.
We need to protect NSW wine markets and avoid smoke-tainted wine from reaching consumers, and the analysis of grapes is key to ensuring that happens.Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall
With tourism already suffering due to bushfires restricting travel across the state, she assured visitors there was plenty of quality wine to taste.
"There will be saleable wine from 2020 - not all wines are going to be affected," she said,
"We want to protect the reputation of the region and we're not going to put bad product into the market."
She said testing would identify compounds which cause burnt flavours during fermentation and ageing.
Deputy premier John Barilaro and Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall announced on Thursday morning the state government would fund a number of tests per business to a cap of $1200.
Tests cost $300 a sample.
"We need to protect NSW wine markets and avoid smoke-tainted wine from reaching consumers, and the analysis of grapes is key to ensuring that happens," Mr Marshall said.
Mr Marshall said early samples from Orange, Mudgee and the Hunter Valley had shown some smoke taint levels "above critical thresholds".
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