Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

CWI confirms fewer than 20 wineries physically damaged

Published:  12 October, 2020

The California Wine Institute (CWI) has confirmed that fewer than 20 of the 4,200 wineries in the wine country have reported physical fire damage as a result of 2020 wildfires.  

The CWI said the majority of the state’s wineries and vineyards had been “untouched by the wildfires” ravaging the wine country, which is vast with winegrapes grown in 49 of California’s 58 counties.

“While individual growers and vintners in some wine regions have experienced disruption and uncertainty, wildfires have impacted a small percentage of the industry overall,” it said.

In regions that experienced smoke from wildfires, growers and winemakers were working together to assess smoke exposure issues, it added.

“Vintners will continue to make decisions to ensure that their wines meet the high quality standards that consumers have come to expect from California.”

The CWI also reiterated that it was too early to predict the impact of smoke exposure from fires on the 2020 vintage, however, it said that while there would “certainly be losses in affected regions, early reports from some regions suggest that impacts may be less than anticipated”.

Despite the challenges, California vintners and growers were "pleased with the quality of grapes harvested", although the vintage was expected to “be lighter than average”, said the CWI. 

“Wine inventories are well stocked, however, and there will be no issues with supplying wines for markets.”

The wildfires started in remote areas in August, some near wine regions. By late September most of those fires were fully contained but there was a new outbreak in forested areas of Mendocino County (60% contained) and, then a wildfire that developed on the eastern side of Napa Valley between St. Helena and Calistoga on 27 September.

This spread into remote parts of Sonoma County, with that fire 66% contained as of 8 October and cooler weather with possible rain forecast.