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Saturday, October 24th

10/06/20

Philippe Melka estimates that 80% of vineyards may be affected. Those in the south of Napa, from sub-regions such as Pritchard Hill, Stags Leap, and Mount Veeder may be all right. "But in a year like this," he says, "who will pay $300 for any wines?" About 51% of Napa's grapes are cabernet. ... Cal Fire said containment of the 66,840-acre Glass Fire reached 41% Monday night.

10/06/20

After the first fire event in August, there was a sense among some wineries that they could get a handle on potential smoke exposure risk and sufficient test results to have an idea of where taking a risk was appropriate, or not. There was talk about not harvesting in parts of Napa that were more affected by the Hennessy fire. Some of that may have been thrown to the wind with the Glass Fire making an assessment more difficult.

10/06/20

Some very fine wine writing: "Beyond the financial cost of the destruction in Napa Valley is the emotional price, as wine that's been nurtured from vineyard to barrel flows down the drain. For many consumers, a bottle of wine is just a product on a shelf, acquired in a transaction, consumed and forgotten. For the producers of good wine, however, a bottle is deeply imbued with emotional as well as economic meaning. ... The wine itself is the product of vineyards, living entities that have been nurtured from cuttings, sustained and protected through natural threats and maladies until, finally, the grapes are harvested. The French word for fermenting and aging the wine is élevage, which means raising or rearing, as you would a child. ... What's bottled is not just a beverage, but a legacy of the people who grew the grapes and made the wine, a snapshot of their thoughts, their emotions and their labor as they seek to convey the character and personality of a place through the wine. ... To lose a vintage, much less a vineyard, is devastating."

10/06/20

While the fire's eastern zone has come mostly under control, its northern edge burned actively and a new evacuation order was issued for north Napa County. A warning was in effect for the southern edge of Lake County.

10/06/20

Sick leave. Personal days. Vacation time. How about paid time off for fighting wildfires?

10/06/20

SF Chronicle Wine Critic Esther Mobley joins the Extra Spicy Podcast: "A Moment of Reckoning for a $40 Billion Industry."

10/06/20

Some managed to save their wineries from flames, while others weren't so fortunate.

10/06/20

The Sangiacomos and the Serres talk about what they're up against and say they plan to persevere.

10/06/20

More wineries are under threat as fire crews brace for another round of extreme heat and high winds.

10/06/20

pushing the limits of altitude and ripeness

10/06/20

"Working with biodynamic practices leads to deeper roots, healthier leaves, and more balance, minerality, aromatic complexity, freshness, harmony and energy in the wines."

10/06/20

Alcohol consumption has increased by 14% compared to a year ago, including 17% for women, according to a report published in the JAMA Network Open.

10/06/20

Coming in spring 2021, new venue to feature 12-acre vineyard, chef-driven restaurant, outdoor event lawn and expansive valley views

10/06/20

"It has been nearly impossible for me to be taken seriously, to excel, and to gain recognition. It is hard for me to believe the wine industry truly wants diversity when I rarely see people of color in leadership roles."

10/06/20

Fortunately in wine, that can translate into enjoying a glass of Syrah while supporting inclusivity and equal access.

10/06/20

Wonder Women of Wine and The Wine Nerd Release Results of the "2020 Gender Equality Study"

10/06/20

Even though Sicily's reds get most of the spotlight, its new generation of dry, radiant whites should be on every wine lover's radar.

10/06/20

It should be easy to track down a bottle of Columbia Crest 2016 H3 Cabernet Sauvignon and judge for yourself.

10/06/20

The pandemic and wildfires have underscored issues of housing and growth. Will the disruptions and dislocations force the state to chart a new course?