What travelers need to know about California's wine country fires: Napa winery and Santa Rosa's Round Barn destroyed
By Mary Forgione
Oct 12, 2017 | 6:30 AM
In Napa and Sonoma counties, the heart of California’s wine country, some vineyards and hotels have been reduced to rubble while others emerged unscathed by blazes that continued to burn in towns and rural areas.
Tourism agencies cautioned visitors about traveling to parts of wine country because of the blazes. In many areas power is out, cellphone towers have burned, air quality is poor, and many major roads are closed.
“If you are planning a visit later in October and beyond, please know that we will update you via this website and our social media channels,” Sonoma County Tourism’s website said Wednesday.
In Sonoma County, the Alta Peak fire started Sunday and swept through the east side of the county in Santa Rosa and Sonoma Valley. On Wednesday, new evacuations were ordered for the entire towns of Calistoga and Geyserville.
In Napa, the Tubbs fire devastated homes and businesses.
The scenic Signorello Estate winery at 4500 Silverado Trail in Napa, a family-owned business that started in 1977, was destroyed in the Alta Peak fire that began Sunday night.
Sommelier Ronald Plunkett posted a photo of the fire on his Facebook page.
The 19th century stone Stags’ Leap Winery at 6150 Silverado Trail in Napa remained closed Wednesday. The winery, cellar door and manor house were spared by the blaze, according to its Facebook page. And Gundlach Bundschu Winery in Sonoma was spared too, though the family home on the property was destroyed, its Facebook page said.
Paradise Ridge at 4545 Thomas Lake Harris Drive in Santa Rosa lost its winery in the Tubbs fire. “The winery may be broken but our estate vineyards survived, which is [the] foundation of our wine,” the company’s website says.
Santa Rosa lost two hotels, the 124-room luxury Fountaingrove Inn and the 250-room Hilton Sonoma Wine Country on 13 acres. The landmark Round Barn of Fountaingrove built in 1899 went up in flames too. The historic 16-sided building was the one-time site of a utopian commune called the Brotherhood of New Life.
In Sonoma Valley, B. Wise Vineyards in Kenwood, Beltane Ranch in Glen Ellen and Safari West in Santa Rosa were shut Wednesday. The Flamingo Hotel, Sandman Hotel and Best Western Plus Wine Country Inn & Suites, all in Santa Rosa, were intact but closed.
In Napa Valley, popular hotels such as Bardessono in Yountville and Meritage Resort & Spa in Napa were among the more than 20 hotels and inns open in the area Wednesday. Fourteen wineries stayed open, but about 50 were closed. Check here for a complete list of Napa County closures.
The death toll from the fires has risen to 23 as of Wednesday.
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