Before-and-after photos show how California’s wineries have been devastated by fires

Wine grapes turned to raisins in one of the worst wildfires in state history this week.

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Wine grapes turned to raisins in one of the worst wildfires in state history this week.
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Ezra Shaw/Getty

Northern California wine country is threatened as a series of massive wildfires continue to rage in the counties of Napa, Sonoma, and elsewhere.

Nearly two dozen fires ignited earlier this week and grew as strong, dry windsspread the flames over fields and freeways. The eight-county blaze destroyed more than 3,500 homes, businesses, and other structures, and sent residents fleeing for their lives. At least 31 people are dead.

A majority of the area’s thousands of wineries have been spared. But winemakers won’t know the extent of the damage until evacuation orders are lifted and they can return to their estates.

Here’s what we know about the state of damaged wineries.


A series of wildfires ravaging pieces of Northern California’s wine country is being called one of the worst firestorms in state history. The largest blazes hit Napa and Sonoma.


The region is an economic powerhouse and a favorite destination for wine-lovers. It’s home to hundreds of elite wineries and vineyards, trendy restaurants, and five-star hotels.

We went to Napa and the wine destination people are ditching it for – and the winner is clear »


Two of the largest fires — Tubbs and Atlas fires — are believed to have begun near Highway 128 in Napa. Strong, dry winds fanned the flames from ridge top to ridge top on Monday.

The ‘Diablo winds’ explain why the fires burning California’s wine country became so destructive »


The wine-lover’s paradise looked eerie with clouds of smoke hanging overhead. The extent of the damage is unknown, but here are the wineries we know have been lost.

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A wildfire approaches Gundlach Bundschu winery in Sonoma, California, on Monday, October 9, 2017.
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Justin Sullivan/Getty

An inferno called the Tubbs Fire has burned more than 34,000 acres in and around the city of Santa Rosa, according to the Cal Fire website. The Atlas Fire in Napa has devastated an additional 43,000 acres. Firefighters were still battling the wildfires on Thursday morning.


Signorello Estate winery, located on Silverado Trail, has been destroyed. Flames climbed the ivy-covered walls of the winery headquarters on Monday, and it eventually collapsed.

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Signorello Estate

Source: Wine Spectator


Here’s the entrance to the Signorello Estate winery as seen on Monday.

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Justin Sullivan/Getty

A photo taken inside a tasting room at Signorello Estate winery shows a circular window.

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Signorello Estate

The window frame was nearly all that was left.


Burned bottles of wine were the only reminder that the structure was once a winery.


Paradise Ridge Winery in Santa Rosa — a large city in Sonoma County that saw entire neighborhoods burn to the ground — also turned to rubble during the massive fires.

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Facebook/paradiseridge

“Paradise Ridge team is safe — our hearts go out to all who have lost their homes and businesses. We are strong and will rebuild,” a post read on the winery’s Facebook page.

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Facebook/paradiseridge

Source: Facebook


Paradise Ridge Winery was a popular wedding destination for its stunning views.

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Facebook/paradiseridge

Flames scorched the earth and left the sky hazy and orange.

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Facebook/paradiseridge

Wine barrels were charred and fermentation tanks were stained with red wine.

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Red wine stains the front of wine-making equipment at Paradise Ridge Winery in Santa Rosa, California, on October 11, 2017.
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Justin Sullivan/Getty

Gundlach Bundschu Winery is one of California’s oldest family-run wineries.

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Gundlach Bundschu

The fast-moving flames torched the 100-year-old Bundschu family home, as well as vines on the hillside. Firefighters arrived just in time on Monday night to save the winery.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle


The family-run Ancient Oak Cellars has been raising sheep and growing grapes on a hill in Santa Rosa for four generations. It’s named for a 200-year-old oak tree on the property.

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Facebook/AncientOakCellars

Source: Los Angeles Times


Around midnight on Monday, owner Ken Moholt-Siebert watched a small ember from the Tubbs fire pick up in the wind and land nearby. Flames began to swallow the property.

Source: Los Angeles Times


Ken and his wife, Melissa, narrowly escaped in their cars. A house, two redwood barns, and the tasting counter were reduced to ash and debris, the couple confirmed on Facebook.

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Facebook/AncientOakCellars

Source: Facebook

We will update this post when we find verified photos of the ruins at Ancient Oak Cellars.


A singed sign outside William Hill in the Napa Valley caused rumors to swirl that the winery — known for its Chardonnay and Bordeaux varietals — had been lost in the Atlas fire.


The winery confirmed on its Facebook page that the buildings are intact. It sustained “only minor cosmetic and landscaping damages” and “minimal vineyard damage,” the post read.

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Facebook/WilliamHillEstate

Source: Facebook


Founded in 1893, Stags’ Leap Winery on the Silverado Trail changed how wine connoisseurs perceived the young Napa Valley region before it became a globally- known brand.

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Facebook/stagsleapwinery


Several buildings at the winery, known for its Cabernet Sauvignon, have burned.

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Workers hand-pick cabernet sauvignon wine grapes at the Stags’ Leap Winery in 2004.
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Justin Sullivan/Getty

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

We will update this post when we find verified photos of the ruins at Stags’ Leap Winery.


Planted at the southern foothills of the Sonoma Valley, Nicholson Ranch winery grows award-winning chardonnay and pinot noir grapes across 40 acres of lush vineyards.

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Facebook/nicholsonranchwinery

A charred entrance now greets visitors at Nicholson Ranch. “The winery was in the path of the fire but escaped being engulfed by the flames,” the winery’s Facebook page said.

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A charred entrance to the Nicholson Vineyards and Winery is seen in Sonoma, California, on October 11, 2017.
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Stephen Lam/Reuters

Source: Facebook


Frey Vineyards has been a family-owned and operated business for three generations. The winery, based in Redwood Valley, is known for its organic and biodynamic wines.

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Facebook/FreyWines

“Our winery has burned down, and most of the family homes, though our warehouse is intact,” Nathan Frey of Frey Vineyards told Wine Spectator magazine on Tuesday.

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Facebook/FreyWines

Source: Wine Spectator

We will update this post when we find verified photos of the ruins at Frey Vineyards.


White Rock Vineyards was established at the foot of the Stag’s Leap area in 1871. Chardonnay grapes grow across 14 acres, with some vines dating back 35 years.

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Facebook/whiterockvineyards

Staffers said the winery suffered significant damage and is “likely lost.”

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Facebook/whiterockvineyards

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

We will update this post when we find verified photos of the ruins at White Rock Vineyards.


Several more wineries are reportedly threatened. Winemakers won’t know the impact of the fires until evacuations orders have been lifted and they can return to their properties.

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A wildfire approaches Gundlach Bundschu winery in Sonoma, California, on Monday, October 9, 2017.
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Justin Sullivan/Getty

“At this point, there’s still a question mark on what’s happening,”Maureen L. Cottingham, the executive director of the Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Alliance, told USA Today.

“There hasn’t been a lot of actual wineries have burned but we’ve had reports of some vineyards and personal homes of winemakers that have been destroyed,” she said.


“Right now, we’re all just crossing our fingers,” Cottingham added.

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The sun shines red through smoke from the Atlas Fire near Napa, California, on October 11, 2017.
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David McNew/Getty