Dry Creek Valley was not directly impacted by the fires that affected the eastern part of the county in October. Our 60-plus member wineries are open for business and many are supporting fire relief efforts through fundraising, donations and support for employees who were affected. The best way to help our region is come visit us, taste our wines and support our industry with your patronage.
“Dry Creek Valley wineries many have been spared fire damage, but many of our employees and neighbors were not,” says WDCV Executive Director Ann Petersen. Tasting room visitors have a two-fold benefit on the community, where the wine and tourism sectors collectively employ 15 percent of the county’s workforce. Sales at participating wineries will help fund relief efforts while spending at local restaurants, shops, hotels and attractions directly supports jobs that make it possible to rebuild.
“We need people to physically come here,” says Petersen. “The smoke has cleared and we need people to see for themselves that wine country is still in full swing, and then go out and tell their friends and neighbors.” We have assembled some statistics on the impact of the fires, which affected less than 10% of the county’s more than 1 million acres.
FAST FACTS (from the Sonoma County Vintners):
- Sonoma, Napa and Mendocino represent about 12 percent of overall California wine grape production combined. California accounts for 85 percent of U.S. wine production and is the fourth leading wine producer in the world.
- Of the approximately 1,200 wineries in Mendocino, Napa and Sonoma counties, the regions most impacted, it is reported that less than 10 have been destroyed or heavily damaged.
- Smoke is not an issue for wine that is fermenting or has already been bottled.
- 90% of the grapes from the 2017 harvest were picked prior to the fires.
- It’s reported that vineyards did not burn and assisted to save structures near or surrounded by vineyards. In previous fire incidents, vineyards have acted as firebreaks.
- Sonoma County is a unique wine producing region, home to over 450 wineries, growing 60 varieties across 17 different Appellations.
- Of the 59,128 acres planted to vineyards in Sonoma County, 91.74 acres (.15%) were damaged.