Napa Valley wild fires report

Napa Valley, California’s premium wine growing region has, along with neighbouring Sonoma, been severely hit by wildfires, fuelled by high winds last Sunday.

Napa Valley Vintners, which represents 550 wine producers, has released a statement of conditions in the valley, as for October 11.

It says that it has heard from 120 members and preliminary reports reveal that, thus far, five wineries have suffered “total or very significant loses”.

It says it has yet to hear from about a dozen NVV members in the most vulnerable areas in the valley, including along the Silverado Trail, in Calistoga and in the Mt Veeder/Partrick Road/Henry Road areas.

It says: “At least 11 other NVV members reported damage to their winery, outbuildings or vineyards. There are still other wineries that are not yet able to access their properties leaving their condition unknown.

“Ongoing power outages, challenges communicating via email, text or phone and the inability for employees to get to their place of work continue. The majority of Napa Valley wineries were closed earlier in the week and 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,” says the NVV.

Although this is the harvest season, the NVV estimates that 90% of the grapes were picked before the fires started on Sunday night.

"It is too soon to tell how the fires and related challenges will impact this year’s vintage overall. What we do know is that of the grapes remaining on the vine, it is 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," says the NVV.