Elite Napa winery destroyed by fire although valley of vineyards spared

Brunilde Fioravanti
Ottobre 13, 2017

Signorello Estate Winery along the Silverado Trail in Napa: Buildings gutted.

"We are assessing information on how the fires might affect the 2017 harvest and the wine industry specifically, but it will be some time before we have any specific information along these lines", said communications director, Patsy McGaughty.

Millions of locals and out-of-staters flock to Napa and Sonoma counties every year to sample wine, sit in mud baths and soak in the region's natural beauty.

The group emphasised that it had not heard from all members, especially those in the most vulnerable parts of the valley.

A century-old redwood barn and her grandmother's 1919 home were spared.

Some wineries were eager to dispel reports that they had been destroyed, like Nicholson Ranch winery, which posted on Facebook that news of its demise was premature.

"The winery was in the path of the fire but escaped being engulfed by the flames".

"The wine is secure in our cellars".

She said the estate's 2015 reds and 2016 whites were stored off-site.

Treasury Wine Estate, which owns Beringer, Chateau St. Jean, Stags' Leap and Sterling vineyards, yesterday said there had been "limited damage" to its infrastructures and sites, and that the majority of its vineyards and wineries were not presently in the "direct fire zones".

About 12 per cent of grapes grown in California are in Sonoma, Napa and surrounding counties, said Anita Oberholster, a co-operative extension specialist in enology at the University of California, Davis.

Most of the grapes in the affected areas, however, had been harvested earlier in the season, she confirmed.

Tourism officials say that wine country is open for business.

CalFire firefighters Tino Loconte, left, and Jon Flinn hit hot spots along Petrified Forest Road near Calistoga.

Buildings damaged, destroyed by North Bay wildfires "It was lovely, it really was", said Ray Signorello, who spent thirty years making wine at his estate winery in Napa.

Sara Brooks, chairwoman of the Visit Napa Valley Board of Directors and general manager of the historic Napa River Inn, said she has had some cancellations, but expects tourism to bounce back as it did after the 2014 Napa quake.

"We've suffered with pests, fires, drought", he said.

Seven people are reported to have died in Sonoma, two in Napa county and one in Mendocino, with many vineyard workers needing to be airlifted to safety.

He said the good news is that most of the valley had picked 90 percent of the crop for 2017.

Thousands of buildings have been destroyed in the North Bay fires and that includes several businesses.

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