The wind-driven fires north of San Francisco that have killed at least 10 people and burned down 1,500 structures have also destroyed several wineries, hitting an industry vital to the region's economy.
Paradise Ridge Winery in Santa Rosa, known for its outdoor sculpture garden and sweeping views, has burned down, as has Nicholson Ranch in Sonoma and Frey Vineyards in Mendocino County's Redwood Valley, known for producing organic and biodynamic wines. The Atlas Fire is raging through Napa's Stag's Leap District, known as the "premier cabernet sauvignon growing region," the San Francisco Chronicle says, and at least one winery, Signorello Estates, has been destroyed. Several wineries remain under threat.
The fires will have a devastating impact on the wine industry, with Napa Valley wine country the epicenter. For vineyards that are completely destroyed and have to be replanted, it will take three to five years for the vines to bear fruit, and at wineries were the vineyards aren't damaged, smoke could taint the grapes. At this time of year, most wineries are almost done with their harvests, and thousands of bottles of inventory and vintages of wine in barrels have likely been destroyed. Wineries in Napa Valley employ 46,000 people, the Chronicle reports, and in 2016, more than 3.5 million people visited the region, bringing in $80.3 million in tax revenue.
Continue reading for free
We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.
Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.