90% of Sonoma County Fruit Harvested Prior to Wildfires

SANTA ROSA, CA (October 19, 2017) – As Sonoma County recovers from the recent wildfires, Sonoma County Vintners (SCV) foresees the 2017 vintage to be the same quality wines that consumers and wine lovers have come to expect from Sonoma County.

Warm weather in late August and early September combined with heat spikes led to a quickened harvest resulting in 90 percent of the grapes being harvested prior to the fires.  The remaining grapes on the vines are mostly the tough-skinned and late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon, which vintners believe can withstand smoke in the short-term.

“Many of our Sonoma County wineries are open and welcoming guests,” said Jean Arnold Sessions, Executive Director of Sonoma County Vintners. “One of the best ways to support our beautiful, diverse and vast region is to visit the open tasting rooms. And an even easier option is to continue drinking Sonoma County wines from wherever you are. Together, our wine community will emerge stronger and more connected.”

For a directory of Sonoma County Vintner member wineries and to purchase directly from the wineries, visit sonomawine.com/sonoma-county-wineries.

Numerous fundraising campaigns have started to help with wildfire recovery.  Sonoma County Vintners supports the Sonoma County Resilience Fund, a fund managed by Community Foundation Sonoma County that provides short- and long-term relief to those impacted by the fires. Donations to the Resilience Fund will be used throughout Sonoma County and will be directed to the areas of greatest need.

Fast facts:

  • 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.
  • It is premature to discuss smoke taint on grapes remaining on vines. Vineyard owners with remaining grapes are picking when they can and will assess quality.
  • 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.

For real-time updates, please visit www.Facebook.com/SonomaCountyVintners or follow along on social media by tracking the hashtags #SonomaStrong and #CAWineStrong. Real time updates on the destination can also be found at www.sonomacounty.com/fire.

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 About Sonoma County Vintners

Sonoma County Vintners (SCV) is the leading voice of Sonoma County wine, dedicated to raising awareness of Sonoma County as one of the world’s premier wine regions, noted for its heritage of artisan winemaking, distinct growing regions, and extraordinary quality. Founded in 1944, SCV represents more than 250 wineries and affiliated business throughout the county. Learn more about SCV at www.SonomaWine.com.