California’s Wine Country Goes up in Flames Amid Raging Wildfires
Wildfires in California continue to rage for a third day Tuesday, with flames devouring Mendocino, Napa, and Sonoma counties, also known as Wine Country. Since the blazes began spreading Sunday, Oct. 8., 17 large fires have burned more than 115,000 acres across California, killing 11 people, so far.
“At this time, we simply do not know how many evacuees we have, we do not know how many structures have been effected,” said California Assembly member Cecilia Aguiar-Curry at a briefing by Napa County officials Tuesday. “The reason is this is not a fire we are facing from a fire-fighting standpoint right now. This remains a life saving effort, the same as yesterday.”
It is clear, however, that the fires are devastating California’s wine country. Sourced from various media outlets and social media posts, here are vineyards and wineries that have sustained damage to date.
Frey Vineyards Winery: “Our winery has burned down, and most of the family homes, though our warehouse is intact,” said Nathan Frey of Frey Vineyards, according to Wine Spectator. The facility opened in 1980 and billed itself as America’s “first organic and biodynamic winery.”
Oster Wine Cellars: Known for its limited production Cabernet Sauvignon, this small family-owned winery was established in 2002. The Mercury News reports it was “lost to the fire.”
Signorello Estate: A scenic winery located on the Silverado Trail, Signorello planted its vines in 1980 and only produced 6,000 cases of wine per year. But it was a picture perfect wine country destination, as its virtual estate tour still shows.
White Rock Vineyards: Established in 1871, White Rock was of Napa’s oldest wineries. The New York Times reports that the vineyard “burned to the ground on Monday.” According to the company’s Facebook page, everyone evacuated safely.
William Hill Estate Winery: The charred remains of this winery’s sign has been a symbol for the area’s fires all week. But according to the Press Democrat, the property sustained “only minor cosmetic and landscaping damage.”
Paradise Ridge: One of the most gut-wrenching losses in wine country, this picturesque Santa Rosa vineyard has been decimated by flames. “All the Byck family and Paradise Ridge team is safe—our hearts go out to all who have lost their homes and businesses,” the owners wrote on Facebook on Monday. “We are strong and will rebuild.”