“It was unlike anything any of us have ever been through” The recovery of Wine Country

I spent the weekend at a conference in California wine country…Santa Rosa…where the effects of last month’s devastating fires are still fresh…and incredibly heart breaking.

No more than five minutes from downtown, I found the blackened remains of a hillside neighborhood. These shots barely begin to convey the degree of destruction.

Walk through in person…see what was once a garage, a house, a home…and you can only imagine the intensity and ferocity of the blaze. It’s an astonishing scene.

The good news: wine country is already rebounding. Representatives from Napa, Sonoma and Santa Rosa told us that while the fires were horrific, the amount of destruction, especially to the wine industry, was exaggerated.

Only a few wineries burned down. Most of them already have plans to rebuild.

90 percent of the grapes had been harvested before the fires. The effect, if any, by smoke on the vineyards or the wine, is not yet known. Winemakers remain quite optimistic about the 2017 vintage. But they say they will not release any wine that was compromised by smoke or heat.

How can you help? Three ways.

  1. Visit the Napa/Sonoma/Mendocino wine country. The fires affected only limited pockets of the region. Just 5% of Napa’s vineyards suffered any damage. While it is not quite business as usual, wine country is open for business.
  2. Pop open a bottle, or two, of any Napa/Sonoma/Mendocino wine. It’s just good karma.
  3. Donate to the North Bay Relief Fund.  100% of your donation goes to the victims of the fire.  https://www.redwoodcu.org/northbayfirerelief


. The people of Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino counties were dealt a terrible blow.   Rebuilding their homes and their lives will take vast amounts of money and considerable time.

But after visiting the area for a few days,  you sense resilience, cooperation and a common spirit.  You leave with a feeling that there’s little doubt the people of Wine Country will bounce back.

#sonomastrong   #napavalleyspirit  #winecountrystrong  #wbc17