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Wine Spectator: The Road Ahead for Northern California’s Wine Industry

October 25, 2017

Two weeks after the fires began in Northern California’s wine country, there is a growing sense that the worst may be over. Firefighters have contained the last of the blazes, and many restaurants and wineries are opening their doors. But there is still plenty of work to do as residents assess the damage from the deadliest wildfires in the state’s modern history.

A report by rating agency Moody’s projects that the wildfires, which have caused 42 deaths, destroyed nearly 8,000 buildings and burnt more than 210,000 acres, will cost California $4.6 billion. And that’s a preliminary projection the agency expects to rise.

Despite all the bad news, California vintners have a message they want wine lovers to hear. “The wine industry is OK,” said Gladys Horiuchi of the Wine Institute, an advocacy group that represents more than 1,000 wineries in California. She points out that most wineries suffered no damage, and the 2017 vintage shouldn’t suffer a major impact. But the fires’ aftermath will affect the wine industry in many ways, some subtle and some obvious, for years to come. Wine Spectator has a full report.

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