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CA Wildfires Create Resource and Information Sharing Networks in Wine Country

October 19, 2017 Leave a comment DRI Admin

The wildfires that tore through northern California have caused damage and loss of life that are still being calculated as firefighters continue working to contain the blaze. Many area businesses are trying to assess their losses and plan their recovery – particularly the Napa Valley wine industry.

Between 30 and 60 wineries were destroyed or damaged, as wind-swept fires burned huge expanses of vineyards. While a Napa Valley trade group says 90% of this year’s grapes were harvested before the fires started, the damage will certainly impact the $58 billion industry in the future, as many will have to absorb rebuilding expenses such as ripping up the soil to replace irrigation systems.

Among those wineries that have the grapes to work with, some are without power. As a result, a network of sharing equipment and resources has developed among those with fermentations already underway.

Some area vineyard workers are also volunteer firefighters, meaning winery owners are receiving updates on the fires, while also temporarily losing members of their workforce. Some owners, such as Sam Coturri, have been providing these updates via social media to ensure reliable information among fellow owners.