Californian wildfires: how to help

the drinks business has put together a list of fundraising efforts currently in place to support the people and wineries affected by the recent wildfires that have killed a total of 41 people.

Chimney Rock Winery, based in the Stags District in Napa, expresses its thanks to those who have offered support in the region. Credit: Facebook – Chimney Rock Winery

To date, it has been reported that 41 people have lost their lives in the wildfires that began to sweep through California wine country on Sunday 8 October. Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino, Solano and Lake Counties were all affected by the fires.

According to the latest reports, in the Napa Valley, 47 member wineries (out of 330) reported direct damage from the fires. Among the wineries known to have been most severely damaged are Signorello in Napa, Paradise Ridge in Santa Rosa, Sonoma, and Paras Vineyards in Mount Veeder, Napa.

Of an estimated 1,200 wineries in Mendocino, Napa and Sonoma counties, the regions most touched by the fires, it is thought fewer than ten wineries have been either destroyed or heavily damaged.

It is believed that approximately 85% of the fruit in the affected areas had been picked before the wildfires struck. Napa and Sonoma reported that as much as 90% of the bunches had been harvested, and, in the cooler Mendocino, around 75% of the red grapes and most of the white grapes had been picked.

It is thought, however, that between 25 and 30% of this year’s harvest in Napa and Sonoma may have been lost due to power and labour shortages in the wineries.

On a more positive note, the number of wineries significantly damaged by the wildfires is not expected to markedly increase, according to the Napa Valley Vintners.

In a statement, NVV said: “Vintners are very optimistic about the quality of the 2017 vintage and the winemaking that was already underway when the fires started.”

“Of the grapes remaining on the vine when the fires began, most were thick-skinned Cabernet Sauvignon. Wineries that could safely access their vineyards continued to pick their grapes. The circumstances surrounding these fires and the grapes left on the vine is unprecedented and the potential effects of the fires are not yet fully known.

The long term result of the wildfires, however, remains more uncertain. It is thought that around 5,700 houses and structures were destroyed by the fires, and countless more were damaged, many of which were used to house local vineyard workers.

The New York Times has recently reported that around 100,000 people were displaced, either temporarily or permanently, by the fires.

For an in-depth look at the real impact on wine, please click here.

As a result of the damage and devastation caused, a number of fundraising initiatives have been set up so that those based outside of the affected regions can offer financial aid to those on the ground.

Click through to view the ways in which you can offer financial assistance, and for the main fundraising pages, please see page seven. If your fundraising endeavour is not mentioned in the following pages, either comment below with the details or email phoebe@thedrinksbusiness.com.

Leave a Reply

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

Please note that comments are subject to our posting guidelines in accordance with the Defamation Act 2013. Posts containing swear words, discrimination, offensive language and libellous or defamatory comments will not be approved.

Subscribe to our newsletters

Sales Manager

James Eadie Ltd
London, UK

Wine Ambassador Role

Ramón Bilbao UK
London, UK

Fine Wine Logistics Coordinator

IG Wines
London, UK

Sales Manager

Top Selection
London, UK

Assistant Retail Manager

The Whisky Exchange
London, UK

Marketing Manager

Ellis Wines
Hanworth, Middx, GB

Commercial Analyst

ATOM Group
Tunbridge Wells, UK

Customer Service Executive

Marussia Beverages
Marylebone, London, UK

HR Administrator

Amathus Drinks PLC
London, UK

Trade Marketing Manager

Australian Vintage Limited
Croydon, UK

The World Bulk Wine Exhibition

Amsterdam,Netherlands
20th Nov 2017

The Drinks Business Green Awards 2017

London,United Kingdom
20th Nov 2017

The Global Spirits Masters Lunch

London,United Kingdom
1st Dec 2017
Click to view more

Champagne Masters 2017

The only Champagne blind tasting in the UK, the competition will reward the best wines in the following categories:

The Global Rosé Masters 2017

With wines from the palest of pink to almost ruby red, bone dry to almost cloyingly sweet, reductively handled to barrel-aged, as well as gently spritzy to fully sparkling.

Click to view more