Wildfire rips through Napa wine country

3rd July, 2014 by db_staff

A wildfire has swept through Napa’s Pope Valley destroying nearly 4,000 acres of land, but the wine region’s valuable vineyards are not yet affected, writes Simon Howland.

Brj-FmzCEAEFhmQ

Up to 800 firefighters and 132 fire engines are working to control the blaze, aided by helicopters and fixed-wing tankers, with the latest update from Cal Fire listing the fire’s spread as 3,800 acres, 30% of which has been contained.

According to Houston Chronicle, the fire has damaged several homes and forced the evacuation of over 200 more since it broke out on Tuesday, but currently poses no threat to Napa’s vineyards.

Speaking to the paper, Cate Contiff, a spokesperson for Napa Valley Vintners, said there was no reason for the wine trade to be concerned.

“It has not come anywhere close to what we consider Napa Valley wineries,” said Contiff.

But Contiff also commented that they’re watching closely as the fires progress, ”It is moving in the opposite direction, and it continues to move that way. We’re keeping an eye out on it.”

John Mclaren, from the Wine Institute of California in the UK, said that that the situation was under control, “They seem to have the fire contained and the temperature dropped over night which helped.”

“And while it is a huge fire, it’s quite a way East of the Napa wineries at this time.”

As reported in the drinks business the current dry spell in California could pose an ongoing threat to the vineyards of California with the region currently experiencing one of the driest years on record.

“The fire department say wildfires could be a problem this season, it’s so hot and dry,” Mclaren said.

The fire itself is not the only problem the region faces, because there’s always a risk of smoke taint.

As reported in the drinks business in March, smoke taint from Australian bushfires has been shown to have a negative impact on wine produced in affected areas.

But McLaren assured the drinks business that this was unlikely to be an issue in Napa.

“The Central Coast had trouble with fires three years ago and there was talk of smoke taint but I’m not really sure about the real impact.”

Last night a spokesperson for Cal Fire said: “Fire Crews continue to defend structures, construct hand line and use bulldozers to strengthen control line around the fire perimeter. Damage Inspection Teams are assessing affected properties. CAL FIRE/Lake Napa Unit, Napa County Fire and Napa County Sheriff’s stated great success with evacuations due to local residents being prepared. Every effort is being made to render the evacuated community safe for repopulation.”

Today, the US drought monitor deemed around 70% of California as currently experiencing “extreme drought” and the remaining 30% classified as suffering “exceptional drought”, the highest level.

butts_fire_map_070114

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our newsletters

Job vacancies

Sales Account Manager - On-Trade

Berkmann Wine Cellars
Liverpool

Sales Account Manager - On-Trade

Berkmann Wine Cellars
M3/M4 corridor

Media Sales Manager - Hong Kong

The Drinks Business Hong Kong
Hong Kong

Regional Account Manager

New Generation Wines
London, UK

Experienced Sales Account Manager – On Trade

Cantina Goccia
London and the south, UK

National Sales Manager – Premium Drinks

Core Recruitment
London based with national travel

Wine Trainee

Stone, Vine & Sun
Twyford, near Winchester, Hampshire

Senior Technologist - Drinks

Conviviality Group
London, UK

Procurement Manager

JF Hillebrand Global Beverage Logistics
Essex, UK

Porter & Laker Manager

Porter & Laker
Essex, UK

Sales Manager & Brand Ambassador - Southwest

Salcombe Distilling Co.
Southwest of England - reporting to Salcombe HQ, GB

Head of Marketing

ATOM Supplies
Tunbridge Wells, Kent, UK

Private Client Sales Manager

Cult Wines
Hammersmith, London, UK

The Global Merlot Masters 2017

Deadline : 24th February 2017

The Prosecco Masters 2017

Deadline : 24th February 2017

db Awards 2017

Deadline : 28th April 2017

The Global Organic Masters 2017

Deadline : 3rd March 2017

Click to view more

The Global Sparkling Masters

the drinks business is thrilled to announce the launch of The Global Sparkling Masters

The Global Rosé Masters 2016

the drinks business is proud to announce the launch of the Global Rosé Masters 2016.

The Prosecco Masters 2016

Now in its third year, the competition will reflect the growth in popularity of this fresh and exciting sparkling wine from the picturesque regions of Veneto and Friuli.

The Global Pinot Noir Masters 2016

After the success of last year’s competition that judged over 250 wines from no less than 16 countries, the drinks business is proud to announce the third year of the Global Pinot Noir Masters

Click to view more