As I’m sure you all remember, 2017 was a devastating year for Napa valley and the Sonoma region due to wildfires. As I’ve mentioned, this is an area we love and have visited many times. If you’ll remember more than 40 people were killed and more than 5,000 homes destroyed. 30 out of 900 vineyards were damaged or destroyed, this according to a USA Today article dated April 19th, 2018.

I thought I’d offer you an update on some of the wineries. There’s been lots of good news as wine season begins this month. Tourists are returning, wineries are rebuilding, and glasses are being poured.

We all know Mondavi, fourth generation winemaker. The Atlas fire damaged his family’s Animo Vineyard, high on Atlas Peak, but a tourist visiting his vineyard is highly unlikely to notice.

Signorello Estate had its winery building destroyed, but the vineyards themselves were not damaged. They also didn’t lose any of their barreled wines from 2016 vintage or any of their bottled wines. Good news.

Paradise Ridge Winery in Santa Rosa was completely destroyed in the fire. Fortunately their other tasting room in Kenwood was undamaged and is open and waiting for you to visit.

The wine country wildfires burned to the edge of Buena Vista Winery’s estate, but other than some smoke damage, the winery escaped harm. Tom Blackwood, general manager, said that many are shocked when they visit. Visitors come expecting total destruction. “In reality, that’s far from true”, he says.

The fires primarily confined themselves to the high areas and left much of the valleys untouched. Even then, only a tiny percentage of vineyards in the area will need to be replanted.

In Napa Valley, the fires didn’t touch many parts of the Sonoma wine country. I am curious to see how the flavor of the wine is impacted. Experts say that there is uncertainty at this time. 90% of grapes had already been harvested at the time of the fire, more good news. This means that the impact should be small.

So, parting note. If you are planning a trip to the Napa or Sonoma region, pack your bags and have a great time. The wineries are open and waiting for you. You’re going to have a great time!

Happy Wining Everyone!