The rapidly moving Kincade fire destroyed the historic Soda Rock winery near Healdsburg in Northern California and "had Sonoma County wine country under siege," the Los Angeles Times reported Sunday. "Structures in the famed wine country were burning, including some owned by wineries in the Alexander Valley." Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a statewide emergency as fires burned thousands of acres throughout the state.
Voters in the heart of California wine country, by a slim, 42-vote margin, would restrict the planting of new vineyards in order to protect oak trees and waterways, according to the unofficial results of a Napa County referendum.
A coalition of environmental groups, a homeowners’ organization and a public water agency in Napa County have filed appeals against a sprawling hillside vineyard project that they argue imperils water resources, sensitive habitat and the climate in the heart of wine country.
The invasive European grapevine moth, detected in Napa County in 2009, has been eradicated in California, according to state, county and U.S. agricultural officials. The moth, native to southern Europe, spread to nine other counties before a multi-year campaign contained and then exterminated it.
“All is not well in wine country,” writes Stett Holbrook in FERN’s latest story, “Of Water and Wine,” published in Bohemian. As multi-million-dollar vineyards and $1,000-a-night resorts rise Napa Valley, California, residents are trying to stop the powerful wine industry from destroying the watershed.
The Valley fire that destroyed up to 1,000 buildings in Lake County, about 100 miles north of San Francisco, "threatened to scorch the California wine industry at harvest time," which begins in late summer, reports the New York Times.
The magnitude 6.0 earthquake in California's Napa wine country damaged buildings and wine held in storage at some wineries.