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Soda Rock winery destroyed as wildfires continue to sweep Sonoma

Published:  28 October, 2019

The historic Soda Rock winery in the Alexander Valley has been destroyed in the current Cali wildfires, which has seen the closure of several major wineries since the fires started last Wednesday. 

Towards the end of the weekend, the Kincade Fire was reported to have swept through 12,140ha of land in Sonoma County – nearly double that of the 6,500ha reported last Thursday night.

Driven by powerful winds, the fire was reported to be at just 10% containment last night.

The California Wine Institute (CWI) said it expects no impact on the state wide 2019 wine grape harvest, with wineries “finished or in the homestretch”.   

“The 2019 California vintage is expected to be of high quality with full flavors, good acidity and balance,” it added.  

Yesterday, California governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency and authorities in Northern California ordered 180,000 residents to flee their homes, while the state's biggest utility firm - Pacific Gas & Electric, shut off power to millions of people to prevent further fires starting Saturday.  

Newsom said the high winds fuelling the blazes were “unprecedented” as he pledged to deploy “every resource available”.

Major California wineries to have closed since the fires started include one owned by Francis Ford Coppola, with properties reported to have been affected including the home of Julia Jackson, who is said to have evacuated the building with her mother Barbara Banke, chairman of Jackson Family Wines.  

The latest wildfires sweeping California follow the fires last November and the summer fires earlier in 2018 and, they come just over a year after the devastating wildfires that ravaged northern California in October 2017, with the most impacted regions Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino.

Several wineries were destroyed in the latter, including Signorelli, and there was significant damage to both Darioush and Stag's Leap.

California accounts for 81% of US wine production and if it were a country, it would be the fourth leading wine producer in the world (CWI).