WXXI AM News

California wildfires impact the wine industry

Oct 10, 2017

The devastation caused by wildfires in Northern California is also impacting the large wine industry in that region.

An agricultural professor at the University of California at Davis, Daniel Sumner, told Bloomberg that the harvest in Sonoma and Napa counties is mostly finished. But he says fires can damage grapes that have not been collected yet and can also destroy vines and wineries.

Sumner told Bloomberg that, “it’s bound to be a significant and substantial impact on the high-quality wine industry.”

Victor-based Constellation Brands has extensive operations in California as well, including Sonoma and Napa wine brands. The company released this statement:

"Our thoughts and prayers are with those impacted by the wildfires in Northern California.  Our first concern is for the safety and well-being of our employees and neighbors living in the impacted areas.  As a precaution, we’ve closed our tasting rooms in Napa Valley and Sonoma.  We’re working to ensure all local employees are accounted for and safe, and to assess any potential impacts to our facilities."

The Street.com noted that Constellation operates 18 wineries, including Robert Mondavi, Clos du Bois, Black Box and Ruffino. The website says that most of Constellation's brands use grapes grown in the Napa, Sonoma, Monterey and San Joaquin regions of California.