News
10/18/2017

California wine country fires: How you can help.

The following post comes via IACC/Taste of Italy partner Slow Wine. In March 2018, the editors of Slow Wine Guide and the Slow Wine Guide Tour of winemakers will be visiting Houston in conjunction with the Taste of Italy trade show and fair. The 2018 edition marks the first time that they have included the wines of California in the guide: They will be joined in March by a group of California winemakers, including many estates from fire-affected areas.

It seems like yesterday that Steve and Jill Matthiasson, grape growers and winemakers at Matthiasson in Napa, were sending out an e-blast informing subscribers that they were donating 100 percent of the sales of a library release to Texas hurricane relief. That was August 30.

Last Friday, they sent out another blast letting readers know that so far their family has made it safely through the ongoing fires in Northern California. They included a link to the Napa Valley Community Disaster Relief Fund (their recommended donation resource). And they also offered this appeal to fans of California wine:

Beyond donations to the above, “the other thing that would help all of us is to BUY NAPA AND SONOMA wines at restaurants, wines shops, and through your favorite winery websites, and finally we hope that you will VISIT Napa and Sonoma after the fires are put out. This is the height of our tourist season and the middle of harvest. The workers in our wineries, vineyards, and hospitality are not getting paid, small businesses and restaurants are either closed or have limited hours. Please consider a trip here during our ‘off-season’ so local businesses, wineries and all the employees can make up some of the lost income.”

As of this posting, Slow Wine California senior editor Elaine Brown and her daughter still haven’t been able to return to their home in Sonoma. They know that there house is still standing but they don’t know yet when they will be able to return. They are alright but displaced. And their future in the area remains uncertain.

The editors of the Slow Wine Guide to the Wine of California would like to express their solidarity with the Northern California wine industry and its workers. Here are some information and relief effort resources (below) for those who want to help.

Jeremy Parzen
coordinating editor
Slow Wine California

Napa Valley Community Disaster Relief Fund.

University of California Davis Fire Relief Update, including UC President Janet Napolitano’s donation resource recommendations.

Biondivino wine shops (San Francisco and Palo Alto) are still accepting and distributing relief supplies.

The San Francisco Chronicle has lifted its paywall for coverage of the fires.

WineBusiness.com continues to publish an excellent aggregate of fire-related news, stories, updates, and relief effort resources.

For updates on the fires themselves and efforts to contain them, visit the Sonoma County page for the Lake Napa Unit (LNU) firefighters.

Image via the Matthiasson Facebook. They posted the photo Sunday afternoon, local time in Napa.

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