- Homepage for the Wine Industry

California Fires Take a Deep Toll on Wine Country - New York Times - paywall

October 06, 2020

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."