Napa Wildfires Media Update

 

10/15/2017 - Napa, CA, Updated at 11:45 a.m. – Thank you for your interest in the state of the Napa Valley and our iconic wine industry. It has been a challenging time due to numerous wildfires burning in our area. 

  • Our top priorities remain the safety and wellbeing of our colleagues and our neighbors here in Napa County and in the surrounding areas also facing similar challenges.
  • Our hearts and condolences go out to the hundreds who have lost their homes, businesses and personal property. We are deeply saddened by the news that there has been loss of life.
  • We are grateful to the first responders and crews working their hearts out to protect people and property in these terrible conditions. They are our heroes.
  • The spirit of community in our valley is strong and we are resilient. Neighbors will help neighbors and we will get through this terrible time.
  • Several fires continue to burn in and around the Napa Valley, primarily in the surrounding hillsides. However, conditions are beginning to improve as firefighters begin to gain control of them. The CalFire Incident Report is the most accurate resource for fire information.

Here is what we know about the state of the Napa Valley wine industry as of October 15 at 11:45 a.m.:

Wineries Affected:

  • We have heard from 275 Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) trade association members sharing reports about the condition of their businesses and their operating status.
  • As of this update, 20 NVV members report some degree of damage to their winery, outbuildings or vineyards.
  • Beginning today, many wineries will gain access to their propteries for the first time since the fires began. Until that happens, there remain wineries unable to offer an accurate report regarding their status.
  • Ongoing evacuation orders, communications challenges and the inability for employees to get to their place of work continue. Most Napa Valley wineries were closed last week.
  • We anticipate wineries will begin to reopen the week of October 16, especially those located on the valley floor, which was less directly affected by the fires.
  • We recommend calling to confirm if a winery is open before visiting.
  • It is too early to estimate the economic impact of the fires on the Napa Valley wine industry.

Harvest Update:

  • Complicating matters is the fact that it is harvest season in Napa Valley. However, we estimate that 90 percent of the grapes were picked before the fires started on October 8. Wineries able to assemble crews and safely get to their vineyards are continuing to harvest grapes. We anticipate all remaining grapes will be picked in the next week to 10 days.
  • Power outages and the inability of employees to report to work also created challenges for wineries, especially for tasting rooms. However, many wineries have emergency generators, which helped maintain production capabilities.
  • Nearly 200 wineries from unaffected areas of California and nearby states have reached out with offers of help via the #CAWINESTRONG collaborative effort.
  • Of the grapes remaining on the vine when the fires began, it was almost all Cabernet Sauvignon. Our winemakers report that this thick-skinned variety, fully-developed and ready to be picked for the 2017 harvest, is not expected to be impacted by the smoke from the fires.
  • No matter the circumstances, our winemakers remain committed to upholding Napa Valley’s reputation for making some of the world’s finest wines and they will do everything possible to ensure the highest quality winemaking for the rest of the 2017 vintage.

How to help or get help:

  • The Napa Valley Vintners has a list of fire-related resources for the community and wineries on our website.
  • The Napa Valley Community Disaster Relief Fund, which the NVV established in 2014, immediately following the South Napa earthquake, has been reactivated. Those wishing to make donations can contribute via the Napa Valley Community Foundation’s website. The Community Foundation distributed the first $565,000 in grants to local nonprofits supporting fire relief and recovery efforts on October 13.
  • We are in direct communication with our two dozen nonprofit partners who receive funding from Auction Napa Valley to help coordinate relief and recovery efforts. 

About the Napa Valley Vintners
The Napa Valley Vintners nonprofit trade association has been cultivating excellence since 1944 by inspiring its 550 members to consistently produce wines of the highest quality, to provide environmental leadership and to care for the extraordinary place they call home. Learn more at
napavintners.com.

Contact:
Patsy McGaughy, Communications Director - pmcgaughy@napavintners.com
Cate Conniff, Communications Manager - cconniff@napavintners.com