Grapes on the vine in the Napa Valley

Grapes on the vine in the Napa Valley (Photo credit: Sgoodwin4813)

Napa Man Finds Delicious Use For Smoke Tainted Grapes

Megan Goldsby
March 02, 2018 - 8:48 pm

NAPA (KCBS) - A Napa Valley man who lost everything in the North Bay Wildfires last Fall is epitomizing, turning lemons into lemonade although as KCBS Radio's Megan Goldsby tells us, this is wine country we're talking about 

"My home and winery was burned down in the October fires in Napa. I found out pretty quickly that my fruit was not going to be able to be used for wine this year,"

And neither were a lot of Andrew Cates' neighbors grapes. Because of something called "smoked taint" which vintners fear will appear in the form of flavor, years later. 

Cates said he thought it was going to waste. But it wasn’t. So instead he "reached out to the food recovery network" and filled the entire food waste non-profit in on how what he created a product called Rayzyns. Dehydrated wine grapes which are super heart healthy.

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"Together we created the Rescue Rayzyns Project, where we actually went around throughout Napa and were able to harvest close to 100 tons of Napa Valley cabernet that would otherwise not be used for winemaking," Cates said. "It was quote/unquote, a waste product."

Rayzyns pack a "crunch" and is what Cates says "separates theirs on multiple levels from other dried fruit". Because a lot of anti-oxidants are in the seed. "This is basically a reaction to something very negative and trying to turn that into a positive."

A portion of the sales from Rescue Rayzyns which will be available online by the end of the month will go to the Napa Valley Disaster Relief Fund For Fire Victims and to the Food Recovery Network.

More information on Rayzyns can be found on their website,