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Hello all - my question is in regards to my favorite area of wine production - Paso Robles, CA. There are many abandoned mercury mines in the Paso Robles area, especially in the Adelaida area where there are many vineyards. Is there a risk of mercury uptake in the growing of grapes? Is there any testing to see if this may be a problem? Nearby Lake Nacimiento had an issue with contaminated fish, so I am curious if this might also be a concern for grapes?





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steve8 posted:

Mercury is easy to test for if you are so inclined to pay a lab to do it for you.

It accumulates in fish, especially older ones, because of the food chain and what they consume. I suspect the levels in grapes are very low to non-detectable. Not something I would lose sleep over anyway.

I agree; however, there are a number of Superfund sites in that area.  I would be surprised if soils, water (surface waters, groundwater, and irrigation water), and grapes/wines were NOT being tested regularly.  There was a big dust up a few years ago about arsenic in wines.  I don't know what happened with that lawsuit, but I seem to recall that the levels, although detectable, were so low that one would have to drink gallons of wine to get a harmful dose (and most likely die of liver disease, rather than from arsenic poisoning).

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