Napa Valley Winemakers Optimistic as Recovery Begins
“Despite Mother Nature challenging Napa Valley and our neighboring counties in unimaginable ways, the recent tragic wildfires have demonstrated our spirit of strength and resilience.
We are enormously grateful to the first responders, law enforcement, community leaders and volunteers who have worked tirelessly to help our communities. Today we are happy to report that the fires in Napa Valley are nearing full containment and much of the valley is returning to normal business.
We’ve received many inquiries about the state of the Napa Valley wine industry and the 2017 vintage.
Here is what we know:
Damage to Napa Valley wineries and its vineyards is not widespread. The fires burned predominantly in the forested hillsides. The well-known Napa Valley floor saw little to no impact from the fires.
Less than 15% of our member wineries have reported any direct damage at all and fewer than five experienced significant property loss.
The greater challenge is that most wineries were closed during one of our busiest tourist seasons. The region is beginning to reopen for business, so people planning to visit should not cancel their trips.
Vintners are very optimistic about the quality of the 2017 vintage and the winemaking that was already underway when the fires started.
We estimate that 90% of the total grape tonnage was picked before the fires started. The circumstances surrounding these fires and the grapes left on the vine is unprecedented and the potential effects of the fires are not yet fully known.
For grapes picked after the fires started, winemakers are diligently inspecting them and running lab tests for possible effects of smoke. No matter the circumstance, Napa Valley’s winemakers remain committed to upholding our renowned region’s reputation for making some of the world’s finest wines. Everything possible will be done to ensure only the highest quality 2017 wines go to market.
Wine lovers around the world wishing to help can buy a bottle or glass of their favorite Napa Valley wine to enjoy. For those who wish to donate to recovery and relief efforts, we recommend the Napa Valley Community Disaster Relief Fund, which NVV established immediately following the South Napa earthquake. We distributed $2 million to the fund last week.
We remain humbled and honored by the unprecedented outpouring of support and generosity from our friends around the world.”