Business Owners Sound Off After Cali Wildfires

FILED OCTOBER 15, 2017

Last week wildfires in California's North Bay area began to gain ground quickly, destroying homes, businesses and whatever else is in its path. As firefighters work to contain the fires and limit damage, we've been working to touch base with the wineries/distilleries in the area. Below is our running list.

COMPLETELY DESTROYED

-- Signorello Winery was completely devastated, according to multiple pictures and media confirmations.
-- Paradise Ridge Winery in Santa Rosa has "burned completely."
-- White Rock Vineyards in the Stag's Leap AVA burned to the ground.
-- Organic wine producer Frey Vineyards in Mendocino was destroyed in the fire.
-- The Pulido-Walker Mt. Veeder estate vineyard was destroyed, along with the residence, according to Christi Wilson, executive director of The Rancho Santa Fe Foundation, per Mercury News.
-- Sill Family Vineyards in the Atlas Peak District was "blackened and gutted by flames," per Napa Valley Register. "We will rebuild as soon as we're allowed to return," per owner Igor Sill.
-- The Backbone Vineyard & Winery's "winery burned to the ground along with all our wine made over the past five years," said Sattie Clark from Backbone, but the family has hope that their house survived, per Mercury News.

PARTIAL DAMAGE

-- Gundlach Bundschu said its winery and structures are still intact with some fire damage and the family house on the property was lost.
-- While there have been media reports showing damage to the William Hill Estate sign, owner E&J Gallo says the winery buildings are intact. "William Hill sustained only minor cosmetic and landscaping damage, in addition to minimal vineyard damage."
-- Mayacama Vineyards on Mt. Veeder destroying its hospitality center. The winery itself remains in tact. The hospitality center burned to the ground, which estate manager Jimmy Hayes called "the residence" held the personal wine collection of owners, the Schottenstein family, but "not much" of the Mayacamas wine library, which is kept off site.
-- Treasury Wine Estates has confirmed that its Stags' Leap Winery and cellar door, including the Manor House, were not damaged by the fire and the infrastructure remains intact.
Though, TWE's Chateau St. Jean sustained "minor damage to an out-building, with cosmetic and landscaping damage."
-- Mendocino County has released a statement that the fire has affected a relatively small portion of Mendocino's vineyard acreage -- 1,100 of the county's 18,000 acres are in the fire zone.
-- Sky Vineyards in Napa's Mt. Veeder district, the ground is charred and vines are blackened. While the owners' home and vineyards burned, the winery is still standing, per Mercury News
-- Paras Vineyard is believed to have sustained major damage with pictures showing the main building in flames and fires burning in the vineyard.

IN THE CLEAR

-- Domaine Carneros is "perfectly intact" according to a report from San Francisco Chronicle's Esther Mobly.
-- DC's neighbor Di Rosa confirmed via social media that they are also safe.
-- Treasury Wine Estates, which owns several properties in Napa and Sonoma, sent out a brief statement claiming that thus far, they've received "limited damage" to infrastructures and sites, but the fires are still going and they don't have access to all of their assets yet.
-- Terlato's Chimney Rock and Rutherford Hill are "unscathed" so far, according to Chicago Tribune. Though the Atlas Ridge Fire has knocked out Chimney Rock's electricity. "Until we get in there, we won't know for sure," says Bill Terlato. "We're taking it one hour at a time."
-- Jordan Vineyard & Winery: All tours and tastings are cancelled for today, Monday, due to the fires in Napa and Sonoma counties. Shipments may also be delayed. The winery is currently not in harm's way, but many of our employees have been evacuated, wildfires are still burning and roads are closed. We will provide updates as we have more information. Stay safe.
-- Francis Ford Coppola Winery and Virginia Dare Winery, both located in Geyserville in Sonoma County, released a statement yesterday afternoon that neither property had been affected, and a small crew is working to maintain some winery operations.
-- Ridge Vineyards issued a statement this morning saying they have been "spared the worst of it." The winery at Lytton Springs is unharmed, as are the estate vineyards in Sonoma County. It's production facility is operational and they will continue to perform the critical tasks.
-- Sonoma County Distilling Co. owner Adam Spiegel reported they are safe on his social media account.
-- As of Tuesday night, Shafer Vineyards shared on Twitter that it is "fine" and "extraordinarily fortunate."
-- Darioush Winery lost half of its landscaping, but the winery was still standing and the wines were in good condition Dan de Polo, president of the winery, told NYTimes.
-- Jackson Family Wines has suspended its picks with the exception of one today in Lake County, an area not affected by the fires. None of its winery properties had suffered damage as of Tuesday, JFW evp Caroline Shaw told Press Democrat.
-- Calistoga's Chateau Montelena winery issued a release via social media yesterday that it had ceased operations at the winery until further notice.
-- Pine Ridge did issue its own statement on its website: "We are relieved to report that currently Pine Ridge Vineyards in the Stags Leap District of the Napa Valley, and all of the estate vineyards have not been touched by the fire. Due to its location on the Silverado Trail, Pine Ridge has been without power until today and because of road closures, it is still inaccessible."
-- Seghesio Family Vineyards
-- Baldacci Family Winery: "We were spared only by the grace of a wind change. Our staff is safe and our winery is untouched."
-- Buena Vista Wines
-- Chateau Montelena released another update this morning that the most recent threat from the Tubbs fire had passed. The "vast majority" of its fruit had been picked, except its 11 acre Blossom Creek Vineyard on the western edge of Calistoga, which was lost during the early stages of the fire. Montelena says although it lost this year's crop, they expect the vines to make a full recovery.
-- Benziger Winery and Imagery Winery in Sonoma confirmed that the wineries have not been burned but they are "monitoring the situation as it unfolds" and plan to remain closed until further notice.
-- Lasseter Winery in Sonoma said the major structures on the estate are intact, including the winery. "The majority of our grapes have been harvested, and our wines are safely tucked away in our cellar," per their Facebook page.
-- B.R. Cohn is "still standing strong" in Sonoma as of last night.
Graton-based Purple Wine + Spirits' distillery and winery have not sustained any damage.
-- SMWE's Stag's Leap Wine Cellars reported no direct damage to the winery, visitor center or estate vineyards.
-- Delicato Family Vineyards' Black Stallion was near the fire line for the Atlas fire in Napa Valley, but chief Chris Indelicato tells WSD Black Stallion winery is safe, despite some small fires put out with extinguishers in the front yard.

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