2017 Fires – Statement from Karissa Kruse, President of Sonoma County Winegrowers
Today, the fires continue to burn out of control, power and cell service is spotty and access around Sonoma County is still highly restricted. With more than 90% of the winegrape harvest completed in Sonoma County, many growers in safe zones are heading out today to begin picking the remainder of their crops provided they can get their grapes to their winery destination. In fact, some Chardonnay, likely the last to be picked in Sonoma County this year, was harvested this morning in the Russian River Valley and I am pleased to report the grapes were of excellent quality and were able to get to a winery in Napa Valley. On a positive note, given how late it is in the season, the concern of smoke taint on the grapes currently on the vine is low. This assessment would be much different had the fires occurred in late July or early August.
We have only confirmed that Paradise Ridge Winery in Santa Rosa has been destroyed. We have been unable to obtain accurate updates from Sonoma Valley as most of that area is still under evacuation orders. Please know that the Sonoma County wine community has been overwhelmed with the positive thoughts, prayers and support we have received from across the county and around the world. It gives us the strength to stand strong and know our communities will survive.