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Wine Spectator: At Least 10 Dead And Two Wineries Destroyed As Wildfires Devastate Parts Of Napa And Sonoma Counties

October 10, 2017

Multiple wildfires spread across large portions of Napa and Sonoma counties Sunday night and early Monday morning, forcing thousands from their homes, burning hundreds of structures and scorching tens of thousands of acres. California authorities report at least 10 fatalities from the fires.

The two largest blazes are situated in Napa Valley’s eastern hills, near Atlas Peak, and in the northern part of Sonoma’s city of Santa Rosa. But the California Department of Forestry and Fire Prevention (Cal Fire) reports that, as of Mondayevening, there were 15 large fires and numerous smaller blazes in surrounding areas, including in Calistoga, Glen Ellen and Carneros, as well as in surrounding counties.

Signorello Estate Winery and Paradise Ridge Winery were destroyed, portions of Stags’ Leap Winery were burned, and several more wineries are reportedly threatened. All the fires ignited on Sunday night, stoked by high temperatures, dry conditions and gusting winds that have reached 50 to 70 mph in some areas. By this morning, more than 109,000 acres across 11 counties had been burned, Cal Fire reported.

Winemakers across the region struggled to check on their wineries while smoke engulfed multiple counties. In Napa, the harvest is in full swing, while in Sonoma, growers are still wrapping up. “It has been a devastating fire,” said Karissa Kruse, president of Sonoma County Winegrowers. “At this time, we are still assessing the specific damage to Sonoma County vineyards as well as to our communities and neighbors. While 90 percent of the winegrapes have been harvested, there were still grapes in the vineyards that were scheduled to be picked in the next ten days.”

Gov. Brown has extended the state of emergency to Napa, Sonoma, Yuba, Butte, Lake, Mendocino, Nevada and Orange Counties. Wine Spectator has a full report.

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