From Wine and Beyond….

By Jeffrey Cohen

I have spent the last few weeks discussing the fires that are continuing to burn in Napa/Sonoma with many of you. So, I have done some research to discuss many of the wineries, vineyards and establishments that have been, in some cases, devastated or harmed greatly by the fires. This list is not absolute as there is still blazing going on.

My main sources have come from the NY Times, Sonoma Magazine and ABC News.

The fires started on the morning of September 27 in Deer Park, east of St. Helena near the Silverado Trail. Burgess Cellars winery was destroyed and the barrel warehouse as well. It took down the stone structure at Chateau Boswell. It then destroyed the three-Michelin star restaurant at the Meadowood Resort, and kissed the edges of the vineyards at Viader and Failla. As the winds shifted back to the west, it headed over to the Spring Mountain District where Cain Vineyard and Winery lost three houses and all of their 2019 and 2020 vintages. Newton was thoroughly damaged, losing its newly signature pagoda, its terraced estate vineyard and a lot of wine. To many known as “the Castle,” Castello Amorosa lost 10,000 cases of wine. Many other wineries including Hourglass, Merus, Behrens Family, Fairwinds Estate, Paloma Vineyard, Tuck Beckstoffer Estate, Spring Mountain Vineyard and Sterling Vineyards were affected but are still assessing their damage. 

After more shifting winds from south of St. Helena to north of Calistoga, the fires have continued to plague the areas. Many wineries evacuated by staff and homeowners are waiting to see what the outcome will be. In some cases, the crops are totally lost and homes are burned to the ground.

Despite the extent of losses, most of the 215 wineries within Napa Valley’s evacuation zones were still standing by the time it reached a stable containment.

The following is a list of wineries that have been affected the most; many are still assessing damages:

Barnett Family
Behrens Family Winery
Cain Vineyards and Winery
Castello di Amorosa
Chateau Boswell
Cornell Vineyards
Dutch Henry Winery
Fairwinds Estate Winery
Fantesca Estate
Flying Lady Winery
Hourglass Winery
Hunnicutt Wines
Juslyn Vineyards
Melka Estates
Merus Winery
Phifer Pavitt Winery
Ritchie Creek Vineyard
Sarocka Estate
School House Vineyard
Sherwin Family Vineyards
Spring Mountain Vineyard
Sterling Vineyards
Terra Valentine Winery
Tofanelli Vineyards
York Creek Vineyards

I have tried to keep as up to date on these matters as possible. So many are affected with much uncertainty for the future! Many experts say that the entire 2020 vintages will not happen from Napa and Sonoma due to the smoke that taints the wine. 

The fires of 2017 were also destructive; however, a lot of the vineyards had already harvested their grapes and therefore were able to make wine from that vintage. This year, the grapes were not harvested yet and thus destroyed.

I must also add that this article mainly deals with wineries but there have been many other businesses such as hotels and restaurants that have been destroyed as well as residences.

I do have some details about each of the wineries listed above if you wish to contact me directly.

I wish everybody a Happy Holiday Season and I’ll see you at the Club.

Jeffrey Cohen is the Wine Specialist at The Clubs of Cordillera Ranch. He can be reached at jcohen@cordilleraranch.com.

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