Alexander Valley Winegrowers Respond to the Minimal Effects Caused by Kincade Fire
November 11, 2019
Healdsburg, Calif.—The Alexander Valley Winegrowers, a non-profit representing 78 winegrowers and 31 wineries in the appellation, wants to let the world know it is still in one piece after the Kincade Fire.
First, we would like to thank the firefighters and first responders whose swift response and coordination kept the human effects of the Kincade Fire from being as devastating as they could have been. Because of their efforts, nobody died and only four firefighters were injured.
Located in the northern region of Sonoma County in Northern California, the Alexander Valley
American Viticultural Area (AVA) encompasses a total of 32,536 acres of which 14,449 are dedicated to the cultivation of vineyards. There are 42 wineries in the Alexander Valley AVA. The predominant red grape varietal grown in our Valley is Cabernet Sauvignon, and the principal white grape varietal is Chardonnay.
The Kincade Fire began the evening of Oct. 23 in a remote location east of Geyserville. As of Nov. 7, the fire is 100% contained. At this time, we estimate 50 acres of the 14,449 acres of vineyard in Alexander Valley were burned. We are still polling our wineries and residents for a more accurate figure. Vineyards seldom burn, due to the fact that they are nearly always either mowed or cultivated. Vineyards are increasingly recognized as aiding in wildfire containment.
Although there was damage to property and real-world effects in the Valley, the vast majority of
acreage affected was in remote, rugged, mountainous areas in the northeastern part of Sonoma County, outside the boundaries of the Alexander Valley AVA. In the end, only two wineries in the Alexander Valley were significantly affected. The remaining 40 wineries are undamaged and back to operating as usual.
Due to the fact the fire began in late October, 90% of Alexander Valley’s grapes had already been harvested and were fermenting in tanks. Many of the vineyard managers and winery staff who remained in the Valley were able to secure and maintain their production environments with generators and the assistance of their neighbors and colleagues. Although the verdict on the 2019 vintage is still out, all indications are that it will be another stellar year.
Wineries, restaurants and businesses in Alexander Valley and the neighboring towns of Healdsburg and Geyserville are open for business! Harvest events and holiday parties will go on as planned, and the people here are as friendly as ever.
"What we need right now is for people to keep coming,” said Jake Hawkes, owner of Hawkes Wine and president of the Alexander Valley Winegrowers. “We need them to see for themselves that this is still the most beautiful place on earth.”
About Alexander Valley Winegrowers
Alexander Valley Winegrowers is a community of winegrowers and winemakers sharing generations of family, history and traditions dedicated to world-class winegrowing in the Alexander Valley. We are committed to the preservation and promotion of the vineyards and wineries in the Alexander Valley AVA.