Wildfires that have been raging across Northern California’s “wine country” since Sunday have destroyed at least four wineries and seriously damaged at least nine more just as the season’s harvest came to an end. The damage could leave one of the state’s signature industry’s hobbled for years, according to NBC.
Of course, assessing the scope of the damage will be impossible until the fires subside. The Napa Valley Vintners trade association has not heard from all members, especially those in the most vulnerable parts of the valley. By the time the fires started on Sunday – accelerated by dry conditions and strong winds -about 90% grapes had been picked. And most of the remaining crop of thick-skinned cabernet sauvignon grapes not expected to be affected by the smoke.
Most wineries remain closed from power outages and mandatory evacuation orders.
What remains of the Signorello Estate winery…
At the Gundlach Bundschu – the oldest family-run winery in California, started in 1858 – in Sonoma County, workers were not sure whether the grapes above the winery survived the fires, Fox reported.
Katie Bundschu, a sixth-generation vintner, recounted a scary Monday night in which the flames licked at the perimeter of the winery but were beaten back by firefighters. A century-old redwood barn and her grandmother’s 1919 home were spared.
“The winery was in the path of the fire but escaped being engulfed by the flames. We have some damage to fix. The wine is secure in our cellars. We are cleaning up and hoping to have the power back on this week,” Bundschu said.
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