This week for 'Wine a Little Wednesday,' we change our focus to the fires raging in Northern California and their impact on the region that produces wine.

I can remember growing up in California and living with the possibility of wildfires every year at this time. The fires will pop up be controlled, and finally get put out. I don't recall any fires of this magnitude in northern California

This time of year for California can be devastating with very dry conditions and Santa Ana winds set the stage for wildfires. The wildfire that California is dealing with now is sadly not under control at all and has consumed over 1500 homes killed 11 and destroyed several wineries.

Paradise Ridge Winery in Santa Rosa, known for its outdoor sculpture garden and sweeping views, has burned down, as well as Nicholson Ranch in Sonoma and Frey Vineyards in Mendocino County's Redwood Valley known for producing organic wines.

The Atlas Fire is raging through Napa's Stag's Leap District, known as the premier cabernet sauvignon growing region according to the "San Francisco Chronicle", and at least one winery, Signorello Estates, has been destroyed and several wineries remain under threat.

This fire will have a devasting impact on the wine industry with Napa Valley as the center of wine country. Any of the vineyards that are completely destroyed will have to be replanted and that will take 3 to 5 years for the vines to produce. If the vineyards aren't damaged chances are the smoke from the fires will taint the grapes. Most of the wineries are almost done with their harvests and thousands of bottles of inventory and vintages of wine in barrels will likely be destroyed the Chronicle reports.

Gregory Gorea from Seneca Wine & Liquor says the "Napa area is the crown jewel of California wine and any destruction of grape vines will be felt for years to come. Gregory said this won't affect current inventory this year, but it will have an impact in the future depending on the damage to the vines".

UPDATE 10-11-2017

This has been called the most destructive fire in California's history. As of last night, more evacuations have been ordered. Two Wineries are gone, the grapes survived but smoke may have ruined this year's crop.

We will add any additional information as it becomes available.


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