California wildfires

Wildfires in California’s North Coast wine region, including the counties of Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino, have resulted in loss of life, evacuations and the loss of buildings and homes.

The California Wine Institute has been in touch with winery organizations in regions impacted by the fires to offer assistance. Right now, they are focused on ensuring the safety of their communities, offering assistance and gathering information. Assessments of vineyards and wineries cannot be made until the fires are contained.

“Our thoughts go out to all of those who have been impacted by the fires,” the Institute said in a news release. “We are very grateful for the firefighters and first responders who are working tirelessly to help people and bring the fires under control.”

Here’s a map of the fires, updated regularly.

It is too early to know what impact the fires may have on the 2017 harvest or wines from the vintage. The majority of grapes in these areas, and statewide, were harvested earlier in the season.

The Institute will issue updates as new information becomes available.

Napa Wildfires Update

It has been a challenging two days due to numerous wildfires burning in our area.

  • Our top priorities remain the safety and wellbeing of our colleagues and our neighbors here in Napa County and in the surrounding areas also facing similar challenges.
  • Our hearts and condolences go out to the hundreds who have lost their homes, businesses and personal property. We are saddened by the news that there has been loss of life and pray that those numbers will remain small.
  • We are grateful to the first responders and crews working their hearts out to protect people and property in these terrible conditions. They are our heroes.
  • The spirit of community in our valley is strong and we are resilient. Neighbors will help neighbors and we will get through this terrible time.
  • Several fires continue to burn in and around the Napa Valley, primarily in the surrounding hillsides. The CalFire Incident Report is the most accurate resource for fire information.

Here is what we know about the state of the Napa Valley wine industry as of October 10 at 11:30 a.m.PST

Wineries Affected:

  • Yesterday we reached out to all members of the Napa Valley Vintners trade association requesting a status report. We have heard from more than 100 of them who shared reports about the condition of their businesses and their operating status.
  • We have preliminary reports that at least 4 physical wineries belonging to NVV members in Napa Valley have suffered total or very significant losses due to the fire.
  • We have yet to hear from some NVV members in the most vulnerable areas of the valley, including along the Silverado Trail, in Calistoga and in the Mt. Veeder/Partrick Road/Henry Road areas.
  • At least 9 other NVV members reported damage to their winery, outbuildings or surrounding vineyards.
  • There are still other wineries that are not yet able to access their properties leaving their condition unknown.
  • Other significant impacts include valley-wide power outages, challenges communicating via email, text or phone and the inability for employees to get to their place of work. As a result, the majority of Napa Valley wineries were closed yesterday.
  • We expect that to be the situation for the next 24 to 48 hours.
  • It is too early to estimate the economic impact of the fires on the Napa Valley wine industry.

Harvest Update:

  • Complicating matters is the fact that it is harvest season in Napa Valley. However, we estimate that 90 percent of the grapes were picked before the fires started on Sunday night. Wineries able to assemble crews and safely get to their vineyards are continuing to harvest grapes.
  • Power outages and the inability of employees to report to work also have also created challenges for wineries, especially for tasting rooms. However, most wineries have emergency generators, which has helped maintain production capabilities.
  • It is too soon to tell how the fires and related challenges will impact this year’s vintage overall. What we do know is that of the grapes remaining on the vine, it is almost all Cabernet Sauvignon. Our winemakers report that this thick-skinned variety, fully-developed and ready to be picked for the 2017 harvest, is not expected to be impacted by the smoke from the fires.
  • No matter the circumstances, our winemakers remain committed to upholding Napa Valley’s reputation for making some of the world’s finest wines and they will do everything possible to ensure the highest quality winemaking for the rest of the 2017 vintage.

How to help or get help:

  • The Napa Valley Vintners has a list of resources on our website: napavintners.com.
  • We are in direct communication with our two dozen nonprofit partners who receive funding from Auction Napa Valley to help coordinate relief and recovery efforts. We will share their resources on our website and look forward to helping connect those in need with these helpful agencies.
  • The Napa Valley Community Disaster Relief Fund, which the NVV established in 2014, immediately following the South Napa earthquake, has been reactivated. Those wishing to make donations can contribute via the Community Foundation of Napa Valley’s website, or by clicking the link available on the napavintners.com website. The Community Foundation plans to begin distributing funds to those in need in the coming days.

 

Additional information:

  • At 2:30 p.m. today we will have winemakers and winery owners available at Honig Vineyard & Winery, 850 Rutherford Cross Road, Rutherford, CA 94573 to take questions about this year’s harvest and wines. RSVP to Cate Conniff, NVV communications manager.
  • We will continue to provide information as it becomes available.

About the Napa Valley Vintners The Napa Valley Vintners nonprofit trade association has been cultivating excellence since 1944 by inspiring its 550 members to consistently produce wines of the highest quality, to provide environmental leadership and to care for the extraordinary place they call home. Learn more at napavintners.com.

Please check the links below for additional information that is updated regularly:

CalFire

Visit Napa Valley