Wildfires continue to tear through California, with Mendocino, Napa and Sonoma counties being the hardest hit. And while the loss of life and people’s homes is the most pressing concern, several wineries in California’s Wine Country have been damaged or destroyed by the fire as well.
That won’t have an immediate impact on wine lovers, but it could dramatically affect the supply and even the taste of Napa and Sonoma wines for years to come. Alex Andrawes, a wine broker in Texas and owner of PersonalWine.com has extensive contacts in Napa. One of his friends, “said he could hear the wine boiling in the barrels before the roof fell in.”
The lasting impact of the Napa fires could affect all wines coming from California, whether they’re caught in the fires or not. “The smoke taint thing will be global — both valleys,” he says. “No pockets spared, I fear.”
With the first wildfire still burning, the list of wineries that suffered damage will increase in the coming days.
Authorities haven’t yet put together a complete list of wineries burned by the wildfires, and Napa Valley Vintners says four of its members have reported total or very significant losses, with nine more reporting some damage to their winery or vineyards. Several members have not yet reported in and the group is not naming which wineries have been impacted yet.
Here’s where Northern California’s wineries stand now, though.
Napa County wineries
While the winery itself was completely destroyed by flames, early indications are that the vineyard might have survived. That’s potentially good news since replanted vines take several years to mature.
Stags’ Leap Winery
While the fires certainly impacted the winery, the extent of the damage is still unknown at this time.
White Rock Vineyards
One of Napa’s oldest wineries (founded in 1870), White Rock initially said all employees were safe and it planned to assess damage on Oct 10th. Unfortunately, it later confirmed the winery was a total loss. The state of the vineyard is unknown.
William Hill Estate Winery
Footage of the winery’s sign burning that went viral, it turns out the damage to the actual winery is mostly cosmetic. Officials say vineyard damage was minimal.
The Stag’s Leap District winery suffered some landscape and vineyard damage, but said the winery structure was sound, despite some reports that were more dire.
Sonoma County wineries
Paradise Ridge Winery
The winery reported a total loss on its Facebook page. In A Wednesday morning post, though, it said all employees were safe and vowed to rebuild.
There’s some damage here, but the winery said on its Facebook page that the wine was secure in its cellars. ” We have some damage to fix,” it said. ” We are cleaning up and hoping to have the power back on this [week].”
Chateau St. John
Despite reports it had burned to the ground, this Kenwood winery’s main structure is still standing and appears unharmed. Damage to outer buildings and the vineyard is still being assessed.
Mayo Family Wineries
A house on the property was destroyed by the fire, but the winery itself has so far been spared.
Gundlach Bundschu Winery
According to reports on Twitter, the property suffered some fire damage, but said its winery and structure were still intact. The family home on the property, however, was lost.
1/3: Thank you for all the well wishes and support. Our property sustained some fire damage, but our winery & structures are still intact.— Gundlach Bundschu (@gunbunwine) October 11, 2017
2/3: We unfortunately lost our family house on the property, but our family and employees are all safe. While we remain vigilant...— Gundlach Bundschu (@gunbunwine) October 11, 2017
3/3: & optimistic about the state of Gun Bun, we recognize our neighbors continue to face challenges as fires still burn uncontrollably.— Gundlach Bundschu (@gunbunwine) October 11, 2017
Mendocino County wineries
Frey Vineyards Winery
Alison deGrassi of Visit Mendocino told the Mercury News that the winery, which focuses on organic and biodynamic wines, was destroyed by the fires.
Oster Wine Cellars
Visit Medocino’s deGrassi also listed Oster, another Redwood Valley staple, as a total loss.