10/12/2017Sonoma, CA, Updated at 4:00 p.m.

 Thank you for your interest in the state of the Sonoma Valley and our historic wine industry. It has been a challenging time due to numerous wildfires burning in our area. 

  • Our top priorities remain the safety and wellbeing of our colleagues and our neighbors here in Sonoma Valley and in the surrounding areas also facing similar challenges.
  • Our hearts and condolences go out to the hundreds who have lost their homes, businesses and personal property. We are saddened by the news that there has been loss of life and pray that those numbers will remain small.
  • We are grateful to the first responders and crews working their hearts out to protect people and property in these terrible conditions. They are our heroes.
  • The spirit of community in our valley is strong and we are resilient. Neighbors will help neighbors and we will get through this terrible time.
  • Several fires continue to burn in and around the Sonoma Valley, primarily in the surrounding hills. The weather forecast for the next 8-12 hours calls for increased winds and decreased humidity so the situation remains critical and changeable. The CalFire Incident Report is the most accurate resource for fire information.

Here is what we know about the state of the Sonoma Valley wine industry as of October 12 at 4 p.m.

Wineries Affected:

  • Tuesday we reached out to all members of the SVVGA trade association requesting a status report. Although we have heard from many of them, there are still many members that are not yet able to access their properties leaving their condition unknown.
  • Due to the ever-changing nature of the fires, the status of our members’ operations remains in flux. We will provide updates as they are available.
  • We have preliminary reports that at least 0 physical wineries belonging to SVVGA members in Sonoma Valley have suffered total or very significant losses due to the fire.
  • At least 9 SVVGA members reported damage to their winery or outbuildings.
  • At least 6 members have reported loss of private homes.
  • Acreage of vineyards burned is still unknown, and likely will not be assessed until the fires are contained. 
  • There are still other wineries that are not yet able to access their properties leaving their condition unknown.
  • It is too early to estimate the economic impact of the fires on the Sonoma Valley wine industry.
  • Ongoing evacuation orders, power outages, challenges communicating and the inability for employees to get to their place of work continue.
  • With an advisory evacuation ordered for most of the Sonoma Valley, and extreme air quality issues, most wineries will be closed and remain closed until further notice.

Harvest Update:

  • Complicating matters is the fact that it is harvest season in Sonoma Valley. However, we estimate that 85 percent of the grapes were picked before the fires started on Monday morning. 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, many wineries have emergency generators, which has helped maintain production capabilities.
  • No matter the circumstances, our winemakers remain committed to upholding Sonoma 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.
  • Click here for information on the wildfire impact on the CA wine industry and smoke taint.

How to help or get help:

  • The Sonoma Valley Vintners and Growers Alliance has a list of resources on our website: SonomaValleyWine.com.

If you are looking for ways to help or would like to share information, we advise donating to Sonoma County Resilience Fund: donation link –  which is managed by the Community Foundation Sonoma County.  This fund is designed to address the mid to long-term needs of our community to address the mid

About the Sonoma Valley Vintners and Growers Alliance  
The Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Alliance (SVVGA) is a non-profit trade organization serving more than 500 members who share a mission to promote awareness of Sonoma Valley’s grapes, wine, and history as the birthplace of the California wine industry. Sonoma Valley comprises six of the 17 American Viticulture Areas (AVAs) of Sonoma County: Bennett Valley, Los Carneros, Moon Mountain District, Sonoma Coast, Sonoma Mountain and Sonoma Valley.Learn more at SonomaValleyWine.com

Maureen Cottingham, Executive Director – Maureen@SonomaValleyWine.com