California Wildfires Damage Wineries

Jennifer Maloney and Alejandro Lazo reported yesterday at The Wall Street Journal Online that, “Wildfires sweeping through some of California’s most prized wine regions have damaged at least 15 wineries in Napa and Sonoma counties, vintners and industry representatives said Tuesday.

The damage isn’t expected to permanently cripple the industry, however. While some winery buildings burned to the ground, taking with them entire vintages of wine in tanks and barrels, the grape vines themselves are resistant to fire and are expected to survive. And this year’s harvest in Napa and Sonoma was nearly complete, according to vintner associations in both counties.

“‘It’s been a devastating 24 hours,’ said Mike Haney, director of marketing and government relations for Sonoma County Vintners, an industry association. ‘But I think we’ll survive this.'”

The Journal writers noted that, “But many of Napa’s vintners emphasized the fact that most of their product had been picked and many of the vines had survived.

“Peter Heitz, the winemaker at Turnbull Wine Cellars, said he had visited one of his vineyards to find smoldering grass on the ground but the grapes essentially ready to be picked.

“‘The vines are fine,’ Mr. Heitz said, adding that he had been more concerned about the trees on his property in Calistoga. ‘The trunks are scarred, but the trees are fine.'”

This entry was posted in Agriculture Law. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.