The following is a prepared article regarding Napa County and the wildfires currently in motion as of October 10, 2017.
Napa County is currently experiencing multiple wildfires and local and state emergencies have been declared. Visit Napa Valley, the official tourism marketing organization for the Napa Valley, greatly appreciates the overwhelming support received from the emergency service response teams who continue to work to keep everyone safe, as well as the collaboration and teamwork from all of its partners.
“The health and safety of Visit Napa Valley’s staff, neighbors and visitors is our highest concern,” said Clay Gregory, president and CEO for Visit Napa Valley. “Our thoughts are also with Napa County wineries, hotels, and other businesses that have been affected by this week’s wildfires.”
At this time, the economic impact of the wildfires on Napa County businesses is not known. Many businesses remain closed due to power outages, evacuation orders and employees who are unable to get to work. As the days progress, businesses will continue to assess their ability to welcome visitors, and Visit Napa Valley will provide updates accordingly.
“Due to road passage difficulty and poor air quality, we are suggesting that visitors consider making alternate travel plans until the fires in Napa Valley have been contained,” adds Gregory.
Visit Napa Valley’s website VisitNapaValley.com/emergency posts a list of Napa County businesses that have currently reported if they are in operation. The Napa Valley Welcome Center, located at 600 Main St. along the riverfront in downtown Napa, is open to assist visitors daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., as well as provide complimentary Wi-Fi.
The Napa Valley Vintners has posted a press release with an update on the wineries affected and the 2017 harvest.
Here is what we know about the state of the Napa Valley wine industry as of October 10 at 11:30 a.m.
- Yesterday we reached out to all members of the Napa Valley Vintners trade association requesting a status report. We have heard from more than 100 of them who shared reports about the condition of their businesses and their operating status.
- We have preliminary reports that at least four physical wineries belonging to NVV members in Napa Valley have suffered total or very significant losses due to the fire.
- We have yet to hear from some NVV members in the most vulnerable areas of the valley, including along the Silverado Trail, in Calistoga and in the Mt. Veeder/Partrick Road/Henry Road areas.
- At least nine other NVV members reported damage to their winery, outbuildings or surrounding vineyards.
- There are still other wineries that are not yet able to access their properties leaving their condition unknown.
- Other significant impacts include valley-wide power outages, challenges communicating via email, text or phone and the inability for employees to get to their place of work. As a result, the majority of Napa Valley wineries were closed yesterday.
- We expect that to be the situation for the next 24 to 48 hours.
- It is too early to estimate the economic impact of the fires on the Napa Valley wine industry.
- Complicating matters is the fact that it is harvest season in Napa Valley. However, we estimate that 90 percent of the grapes were picked before the fires started on Sunday night. Wineries able to assemble crews and safely get to their vineyards are continuing to harvest grapes.
- Power outages and the inability of employees to report to work also have also created challenges for wineries, especially for tasting rooms. However, most wineries have emergency generators, which has helped maintain production capabilities.
- It is too soon to tell how the fires and related challenges will impact this year’s vintage overall. What we do know is that of the grapes remaining on the vine, it is almost all Cabernet Sauvignon. Our winemakers report that this thick-skinned variety, fully-developed and ready to be picked for the 2017 harvest, is not expected to be impacted by the smoke from the fires.
- No matter the circumstances, our winemakers remain committed to upholding Napa Valley’s reputation for making some of the world’s finest wines and they will do everything possible to ensure the highest quality winemaking for the rest of the 2017 vintage.
How to help or get help:
- The Napa Valley Vintners has a list of resources on our website: napavintners.com.
- We are in direct communication with our two dozen nonprofit partners who receive funding from Auction Napa Valley to help coordinate relief and recovery efforts. We will share their resources on our website and look forward to helping connect those in need with these helpful agencies.
- The Napa Valley Community Disaster Relief Fund, which the NVV established in 2014, immediately following the South Napa earthquake, has been reactivated. Those wishing to make donations can contribute via the Community Foundation of Napa Valleyâ€™s website, or by clicking the link available on the napavintners.com website. The Community Foundation plans to begin distributing funds to those in need in the coming days.
Visitors who are in Napa Valley may refer to this list of resources, which provide additional information on the wildfires. News outlets are encouraged to contact these organizations directly for updates.