Naumes, Inc.



Naumes Inc. was established in 1946 and is one of the largest pear growers in the United States, as well as a wine grape grower and wine producer located in the Rogue Valley in southwestern Oregon. With orchards located in Washington, Oregon, and California, the family has felt the effects of recent wildfires in all three states, causing a real impact on their production as well as their employees.

Sean Naumes is the Special Projects Manager at Naumes Inc., and the third generation that stands behind the Naumes label. With the unfortunate recurring fire season, Sean has become all too familiar with fire surrounding their operations, as well as the subsequent implications he now faces. The most significant impacts were caused by the destruction of their employees' housing and the inundation of smoke — specifically with the wine grapes.

As it becomes an unfortunate yet regular phenomenon, smoke from wildfire causes a real issue for the vineyards in the valley, where the compounds in the smoke are absorbed through the skin of ripening grapes, referred to as smoke taint. This affects the wine quality, by causing it to taste smoky and leave an ashy aftertaste, essentially ruining the wine. Sean explains how the wildfires of 2018 caused so much smoke taint that all wine grapes that season were essentially useless, causing a massive loss of revenue and a wine left undrinkable. 

The Naumes family may be experts in fruit production, but they’ve learned a lot lately about the adverse effects that forest fires have even when they burn far from their community — and the wider impact that effective fuel reduction could have for any forest.



We the Forest offers information and personal stories from those working in the forest products industry, highlighting the role they play in solving forest health problems and providing a stage for their voices. 

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