Winegrape Growers Raced to Beat the Fire
Wine growers in Sonoma county raced against the approaching Kincaid fire to harvest remaining grapes as the blaze was approaching.
Sonoma County Winegrowers say the growers were about 92 percent finished with the harvest when the fire broke out.
Tawni Tesconi, Executive Director of the Sonoma County Farm Bureau told California Ag Today the possibility of smoke damage or taint still exists.
Tesconi: “We still are trying to get that figured out. The one great thing that our sheriff allowed us to do is allow our vineyard managers to go in and pick grapes even in areas that had been in evacuation zones because we don’t want to see smoke taint. One vineyard that had already finished harvesting for the year would send their staff over to help get the grapes off the vines. But right now they’re doing a lot of testing out there just to see if there is any smoke taint. I don’t think we really know yet.”
Tesconi says they are reaching out to Farm Bureau members to catalog the damages. and that will take some time.
While Northern California growers were crossing their fingers that the worst might be over, new blazes opened up at the end of the week in Southern California. Officials pointed to the fast moving Maria wildfire had torched more than 8,000 rural acres and threatened millions of dollars worth of avocados, oranges and lemons.