Catastrophic Fires In Napa and Sonoma

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Brian Tuite
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Catastrophic Fires In Napa and Sonoma

#1151 Post by Brian Tuite »

craig v wrote:Alan, happen to glance east up Cavedale Rd off 12? The property mgmt. company for our rental says its good but others say the road was still closed yesterday, which sounds bad?
Alan Rath wrote:
Betty C wrote:We drove up to Napa today and on through Yountville and Rutherford. If you look west on the 29, it’s like the fire never happened. If you look east, you can see parts of the hills are charred.

Overall, the air was clear and the weather was beautiful. It was quieter than I’ve seen it in a long time on a Saturday. Go spend some money there, folks!
This. We drove into Santa Rosa on 101, then west on 12. No sign of fire anywhere, it's beautiful fall weather in wine country, go, go, go. The areas affected by fires will be obvious, but in terms of populated areas where you would typically go, I'll bet it's just a percent or two of the region. Unless you drive up 12 as folks have described in the last few posts, or along parts of Silverado in southern Napa valley, I don't think you'll know there were fires.
He didn’t pass that area on 12.
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#1152 Post by Paul Luckin »

Craig: as of this morning, you cannot turn onto Cavedale road (I.e. east) from Hwy 12. There are roadblocks at the intersection, and CHP vehicles about 20 yards behind them. If you are concerned about access, join Nixle by texting 888777 and the zip code. You’ll receive updates.
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Catastrophic Fires In Napa and Sonoma

#1153 Post by Brian Tuite »

Paul Luckin wrote:Craig: as of this morning, you cannot turn onto Cavedale road (I.e. east) from Hwy 12. There are roadblocks at the intersection, and CHP vehicles about 20 yards behind them. If you are concerned about access, join Nixle by texting 888777 and the zip code 95476. You’ll receive updates.
FIFY
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#1154 Post by Alan Rath »

In addition to what Paul says (and he's there, I'm not), I know there was property damage along Cavedale. Sky vineyard, for example, had structure damage. It's a long road, so your rental property could be anywhere. Cavedale comes out on the other end on Trinity (on the way to Oakville Grade). Road closures are not exactly clear, but a number of roads in that area are closed. Unless the property management company has been to the property recently, and can verify 100% that it's OK and the road is open, I would consider changing where you stay. Right now I'll bet you can find other rentals that people have cancelled.

Look here, but even that is not completely clear:

http://sonomamap.maps.arcgis.com/apps/w ... 58475eb8f2
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#1155 Post by Paul Luckin »

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#1156 Post by craig v »

Thanks Paul, Alan & Brian. My property management company is part of a big company so they ought to be on the up and up but this is useful info that I'll run by them again to make sure they have correct into. Its in the 2900s and about 2-1/4 miles up Cavedale. The property pic show vegetation nearby but the big pine trees appear to be 1/2 a block away. Mostly olive trees and scrub around the property which is semi new.
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#1157 Post by Alan Rath »

Craig, I assume you read the notice Paul posted just above. The area described definitely includes all of Cavedale., and it sure doesn't make it sound accessible. I doubt they will let a short term renter up there, I would think only actual property owners. Make sure you read it, they are not letting people stay after curfew, only access to check on properties and get belongings, I assume. No indication of when they will lift the curfew and allow complete access. I can definitely see some burned structures along the road, and some still intact. Seriously, I would cancel this reservation, and find somewhere else, don't mess with it.
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#1158 Post by Randy Bowman »

We have a friend who is positive he lost his house on Cavedale, but as of twenty minutes ago, they have not opened Cavedale to anyone.
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#1159 Post by Randy Bowman »

In the last three days, we've seen two dozen fire trucks/vehicles heading out. I've seen that many heading south from the staging area in the last thirty minutes. I hope at least half are going home instead of to another fire.
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#1160 Post by Mike Grammer »

Peter Papay wrote:Did a little bit of shopping today at a local LCBO store and was pleasantly surprised when the clerk at the check out asked me if I would like to donate for the people in need who suffered from the California Wild Fires. Great to see a large cooperation like the LCBO to help out and with their number of stores in the country they could collect quiet a lump sum.

Needless to say I gladly obliged.
That *is* good and slightly surprising news, Peter. A matching program would be even better, but at least the ask is there. I was going to "stock" for a small party from my cellar but may go and get some stuff from the LCBO after all if this is in place.

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#1161 Post by Larry P »

From City of Sonoma FB page:
10/22/17: Sunday afternoon update from Sonoma County Sheriff on areas of Glen Ellen/Kenwood:
As of 3:00 p.m. today, Sunday October 22nd, the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office is opening the burned unincorporated county areas located on the north side (also known as the east side) of Highway 12 in Kenwood and Glen Ellen, between Coffin Lane (Kenwood) and Moon Mountain Road for limited re-entry by residents and property owners. This area includes burned out areas and tributaries of Kinnybrook Drive, Nuns Canyon Road, Neiligan Road, Trinity Road, Cavedale Road and Moon Mountain Road.

Adobe Canyon Road and Pythian Road are still closed.

In order for you to access your neighborhoods, you must check in at a checkpoint where your identification will be verified and you will be issued an area pass, along with safety equipment and an information packet. The location of the checkpoint is the Sonoma Valley Regional Park, 13630 Highway 12, Glen Ellen.

Once you have checked in and received a pass you can respond to your residence.When you reach your street you may find it is blocked. Show your access pass to the law enforcement officer and you will be allowed entry.
https://www.facebook.com/CityOfSonoma/? ... nref=story
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#1162 Post by ATaylor »

I drove up Saturday morning to visit my folks an sister who live in Napa. Driving east across Hwy 37 was surreal as it is a trip that I have done so many times. Coming off 101, immediately the smell of burned vegetation became very strong. Even though it has been abandoned for a while, heartbreaking to see the old Stornetta dairy burned to the ground.

On to my parents in Browns Valley and frightening to see how the fire came so close to blowing through the Buhman/Browns Valley area the first night. According to local press reports it was only because two guys fired up a bulldozer on Sunday night cutting a 4 mile fire break after being told by Cal Fire they were on their own.

Played golf with my dad at NVCC and the 10th/11th/12th tees offer some very expansive views. The east ridges completely scorched and the devastation of the homes burned around Silverado off in the distance (I worked the PGA tournament the weekend of the fire and left Napa around 9 pm; a lady on one of my ShotLink crews lost her home).

Saturday night was dinner at the Napa Valley Bistro and it was a full house from 6:30pm until we left around 9 which was good to see, but the downtown area was definitely very thin for a Saturday night.

Went over to Domaine Carneros this afternoon and the downturn in traffic was very noticeable. Normally on a beautiful weekend afternoon the parking lot is overflow but today it was virtually empty. They only re-opened on Monday and they said this weekend's counts were only 40% to 50% of normal.

The weather is going to be gorgeous over the next couple of weeks. Go up there people, the businesses need your support.
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Artesa in the distance; taken from Domaine Carneros
Artesa in the distance; taken from Domaine Carneros
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East to Mt George
East to Mt George
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Last edited by ATaylor on October 22nd, 2017, 10:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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#1163 Post by Larry P »

Lori and I visited Sonoma today, went to a fundraiser at Gundlach Bundschu, had lunch and dinner on the plaza (following Roy Piper's idea to tip extra all our servers), drove Carneros Highway, Napa St., Hwy 12 up to Kenwood, and back down Arnold Drive through Glen Ellen.

We tried to get through Lovall Valley to see Compagni Portis and Bartholomew Park Winery, but the road was closed right before that. A mixed bag there, most houses looked fine but some properties were devastated.

Going up Hwy. 12, most wineries and vineyards looked ok, then there were heartbreaking scenes. We stopped at the shop next to the post office in Glen Ellen and the lady there said she had just reopened yesterday after being closed 2 weeks. She cried telling me about her neighborhood, and when she asked if my home was ok, and I told here I was up from the East Bay, she was very thankful. I felt bad I was only buying some bottles of water.

We're going back up next weekend. Every little bit will help.
Last edited by Larry P on October 22nd, 2017, 10:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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#1164 Post by Paul Luckin »

Larry P wrote:Lori and I visited Sonoma today, went to a fundraiser at Gundlach Bundschu, had lunch and dinner on the plaza (following Roy Piper's idea to tip extra all our servers), drove Carneros Highway, Napa St., Hwy 12 up to Kenwood, and back down Arnold Drive through Glen Ellen.

We tried to get through Lovall Valley to see Compagni Portis and Bartholomew Park Winery, but the road was closed right before that. A mixed bag there, most houses looked fine but some properties were devastated.

Going up Hwy. 12, most wineries and vineyards looked ok, then there were heartbreaking scenes. We stopped at the stop next to the post office in Glen Ellen and the lady there said she had just reopened yesterday after being closed 2 weeks. She cried telling me about her neighborhood, and when she asked if my home was ok, and I told here I was up from the East Bay, she was very thankful. I felt bad I was only buying some bottles of water.

We're going back up next weekend. Every little bit will help.
Thank you Larry, for supporting Sonoma Valley. Swing by the TR if you get a chance next weekend!
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#1165 Post by Larry P »

Brian Tuite wrote:
james l moleberg wrote:
Tom Taylor wrote:I really don't understand the analysis of Klay Thompson's potential donations in relation to his salary
It's rather simple. People are pathetic, and by minimizing what someone else is doing, it makes them feel better about the nothing they are doing.
[thankyou.gif] [winner.gif]
Maybe he was suggesting all the 6-figure salaried Warrior fans here, put up $5/point? https://pledgeit.org/klay
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#1166 Post by Larry P »

Paul Luckin wrote:
Larry P wrote:Lori and I visited Sonoma today, went to a fundraiser at Gundlach Bundschu, had lunch and dinner on the plaza (following Roy Piper's idea to tip extra all our servers), drove Carneros Highway, Napa St., Hwy 12 up to Kenwood, and back down Arnold Drive through Glen Ellen.

We tried to get through Lovall Valley to see Compagni Portis and Bartholomew Park Winery, but the road was closed right before that. A mixed bag there, most houses looked fine but some properties were devastated.

Going up Hwy. 12, most wineries and vineyards looked ok, then there were heartbreaking scenes. We stopped at the stop next to the post office in Glen Ellen and the lady there said she had just reopened yesterday after being closed 2 weeks. She cried telling me about her neighborhood, and when she asked if my home was ok, and I told here I was up from the East Bay, she was very thankful. I felt bad I was only buying some bottles of water.

We're going back up next weekend. Every little bit will help.
Thank you Larry, for supporting Sonoma Valley. Swing by the TR if you get a chance next weekend!
Will do Paul.
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#1167 Post by Jonathan Sirot »

An interesting article in the New Yorker about the fires, recovery efforts, and the future impact on its residents.

https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-des ... of-its-own

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#1168 Post by Dan Kravitz »

I don't like being a jerk, but often get there anyway. There have been contentious parts of this thread that have made me cringe... everybody up there is under enormous stress and a lot of it has come out in postings.

When I read the post about going to Stonestreet and supporting the local economy, I had mixed thoughts and feelings, which I probably should not share, but will.

First, thinking of people who are financially ruined by the fires, Jess Jackson's family at Stonestreet would not be among my top concerns.

Second, the employees of that winery and vineyard are people who may be well treated and well paid, but they are not themselves wealthy and need to be sure their jobs are there.

Third, I am reasonably confident that Stonestreet has both the resources and the will to treat the people who work their fairly and make sure that their fire-related problems are minimized.

I happen to be a person who admired Jess Jackson and the wine empire he built. Snobs and critics have pooh-poohed Kendall-Jackson Chardonnay almost since the day it became famous, but I like the wine and have enjoyed many, many glasses (to badly mix metaphors, it has been a port in a storm at many wine desert restaurants). I've had some incredibly fine wines from some of their own Estates, including Stonestreet.

Still, if I were able to be a wine tourist in the fire areas, I would not be spending money at Stonestreet, not because they don't deserve it but because other people need it far more.

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#1169 Post by dsGriswold »

A thoughtful post Dan.
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#1170 Post by David_S »

Thinking about celebrating Thanksgiving up there to bring some $$$ up. What would be a good place to enjoy a delicious yet traditional Thanksgiving meal?
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#1171 Post by Kim Z »

David_S wrote:Thinking about celebrating Thanksgiving up there to bring some $$$ up. What would be a good place to enjoy a delicious yet traditional Thanksgiving meal?
http://www.meadowood.com/events/november-23-2017
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#1172 Post by Larry P »

Photo from last weekend showing how close the fire was to Gundlach Bundschu:
22712491_1728306563848748_2640216685286312859_o.jpg
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#1173 Post by Todd F r e n c h »

Larry P wrote:Photo from last weekend showing how close the fire was to Gundlach Bundschu:
22712491_1728306563848748_2640216685286312859_o.jpg
Wow!

Similar with Regusci...
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#1174 Post by John M Richards »

Dan Kravitz wrote:I don't like being a jerk, but often get there anyway. There have been contentious parts of this thread that have made me cringe... everybody up there is under enormous stress and a lot of it has come out in postings.

When I read the post about going to Stonestreet and supporting the local economy, I had mixed thoughts and feelings, which I probably should not share, but will.

First, thinking of people who are financially ruined by the fires, Jess Jackson's family at Stonestreet would not be among my top concerns.

Second, the employees of that winery and vineyard are people who may be well treated and well paid, but they are not themselves wealthy and need to be sure their jobs are there.

Third, I am reasonably confident that Stonestreet has both the resources and the will to treat the people who work their fairly and make sure that their fire-related problems are minimized.

I happen to be a person who admired Jess Jackson and the wine empire he built. Snobs and critics have pooh-poohed Kendall-Jackson Chardonnay almost since the day it became famous, but I like the wine and have enjoyed many, many glasses (to badly mix metaphors, it has been a port in a storm at many wine desert restaurants). I've had some incredibly fine wines from some of their own Estates, including Stonestreet.

Still, if I were able to be a wine tourist in the fire areas, I would not be spending money at Stonestreet, not because they don't deserve it but because other people need it far more.

Dan Kravitz
You are right Dan, you got there anyway. We needed to make a pick up at Stonestreet this fall, and wanted to help out their staff by buying additional wine (for which they get credit). The young woman who helped us had been evacuated from her home by a fire deemed arson by the local Santa Rosa firefighter who fought it. As I mentioned we stopped at several businesses on Highway 12 on the way home, including Swede's Feeds to make additional purchases. I have also given a four figure check to the RCU fire fund which was matched by my company. Next time you think about writing something like this, don't.

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#1175 Post by Brian Tuite »

John M Richards wrote:
Dan Kravitz wrote:I don't like being a jerk, but often get there anyway. There have been contentious parts of this thread that have made me cringe... everybody up there is under enormous stress and a lot of it has come out in postings.

When I read the post about going to Stonestreet and supporting the local economy, I had mixed thoughts and feelings, which I probably should not share, but will.

First, thinking of people who are financially ruined by the fires, Jess Jackson's family at Stonestreet would not be among my top concerns.

Second, the employees of that winery and vineyard are people who may be well treated and well paid, but they are not themselves wealthy and need to be sure their jobs are there.

Third, I am reasonably confident that Stonestreet has both the resources and the will to treat the people who work their fairly and make sure that their fire-related problems are minimized.

I happen to be a person who admired Jess Jackson and the wine empire he built. Snobs and critics have pooh-poohed Kendall-Jackson Chardonnay almost since the day it became famous, but I like the wine and have enjoyed many, many glasses (to badly mix metaphors, it has been a port in a storm at many wine desert restaurants). I've had some incredibly fine wines from some of their own Estates, including Stonestreet.

Still, if I were able to be a wine tourist in the fire areas, I would not be spending money at Stonestreet, not because they don't deserve it but because other people need it far more.

Dan Kravitz
You are right Dan, you got there anyway. We needed to make a pick up at Stonestreet this fall, and wanted to help out their staff by buying additional wine (for which they get credit). The young woman who helped us had been evacuated from her home by a fire deemed arson by the local Santa Rosa firefighter who fought it. As I mentioned we stopped at several businesses on Highway 12 on the way home, including Swede's Feeds to make additional purchases. I have also given a four figure check to the RCU fire fund which was matched by my company. Next time you think about writing something like this, don't.
Touché!

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#1176 Post by John M Richards »

Brian Tuite wrote:
John M Richards wrote:
Dan Kravitz wrote:I don't like being a jerk, but often get there anyway. There have been contentious parts of this thread that have made me cringe... everybody up there is under enormous stress and a lot of it has come out in postings.

When I read the post about going to Stonestreet and supporting the local economy, I had mixed thoughts and feelings, which I probably should not share, but will.

First, thinking of people who are financially ruined by the fires, Jess Jackson's family at Stonestreet would not be among my top concerns.

Second, the employees of that winery and vineyard are people who may be well treated and well paid, but they are not themselves wealthy and need to be sure their jobs are there.

Third, I am reasonably confident that Stonestreet has both the resources and the will to treat the people who work their fairly and make sure that their fire-related problems are minimized.

I happen to be a person who admired Jess Jackson and the wine empire he built. Snobs and critics have pooh-poohed Kendall-Jackson Chardonnay almost since the day it became famous, but I like the wine and have enjoyed many, many glasses (to badly mix metaphors, it has been a port in a storm at many wine desert restaurants). I've had some incredibly fine wines from some of their own Estates, including Stonestreet.

Still, if I were able to be a wine tourist in the fire areas, I would not be spending money at Stonestreet, not because they don't deserve it but because other people need it far more.

Dan Kravitz
You are right Dan, you got there anyway. We needed to make a pick up at Stonestreet this fall, and wanted to help out their staff by buying additional wine (for which they get credit). The young woman who helped us had been evacuated from her home by a fire deemed arson by the local Santa Rosa firefighter who fought it. As I mentioned we stopped at several businesses on Highway 12 on the way home, including Swede's Feeds to make additional purchases. I have also given a four figure check to the RCU fire fund which was matched by my company. Next time you think about writing something like this, don't.
Touché!

Image
By the way, for those of you who have not driven through Highway 12 in the last few days, there is no winery to visit. Every side road is closed with fire crews, PG&E crews and police. Please visit the town squares in Sonoma and Healdsburg if you want to support the local Sonoma vintners. These areas are completely open.

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#1177 Post by Rboinski »

John M Richards wrote:
Dan Kravitz wrote:I don't like being a jerk, but often get there anyway. There have been contentious parts of this thread that have made me cringe... everybody up there is under enormous stress and a lot of it has come out in postings.

When I read the post about going to Stonestreet and supporting the local economy, I had mixed thoughts and feelings, which I probably should not share, but will.

First, thinking of people who are financially ruined by the fires, Jess Jackson's family at Stonestreet would not be among my top concerns.

Second, the employees of that winery and vineyard are people who may be well treated and well paid, but they are not themselves wealthy and need to be sure their jobs are there.

Third, I am reasonably confident that Stonestreet has both the resources and the will to treat the people who work their fairly and make sure that their fire-related problems are minimized.

I happen to be a person who admired Jess Jackson and the wine empire he built. Snobs and critics have pooh-poohed Kendall-Jackson Chardonnay almost since the day it became famous, but I like the wine and have enjoyed many, many glasses (to badly mix metaphors, it has been a port in a storm at many wine desert restaurants). I've had some incredibly fine wines from some of their own Estates, including Stonestreet.

Still, if I were able to be a wine tourist in the fire areas, I would not be spending money at Stonestreet, not because they don't deserve it but because other people need it far more.

Dan Kravitz
You are right Dan, you got there anyway. We needed to make a pick up at Stonestreet this fall, and wanted to help out their staff by buying additional wine (for which they get credit). The young woman who helped us had been evacuated from her home by a fire deemed arson by the local Santa Rosa firefighter who fought it. As I mentioned we stopped at several businesses on Highway 12 on the way home, including Swede's Feeds to make additional purchases. I have also given a four figure check to the RCU fire fund which was matched by my company. Next time you think about writing something like this, don't.
Thank you for this. I had wrestled with posting a reply to Dan but deleted after I realized it wasn't productive. My wife was the Assistant Winemaker at Stonestreet and we are very close with all of the staff in production as well as the tasting room, and my wife still works out of that facility in a different role. It feels really rude to attempt to shame someone for supporting a specific winery just because the owners are wealthy. While the family does work very closely with that winery, it is the production and tasting room staff that are there day in and day out giving there all that makes it successful. Many of these employees were displaced (we housed one for a few weeks) and the decision to not support the winery would have a direct effect on them, not just the owner. Please remember the fact that almost all of the people working in this industry are simply locals who need a job and take pride in their work.

Beyond that, the Jackson Family has been a great example of how to help during a disaster. As far as I am aware beyond making a significant donation the family members all took personal steps to help in any way possible. They took evacuated employees into their personal homes, have temporarily provided furnished housing for all employees who lost their homes, provided over 5,000 meals to evacuees firefighters/first responders, provided land for equipment staging/sleeping for firefighters, and also provided climate controlled warehouses to store disaster relief food as it came in. They are also the largest winegrowing landholders in the county and I do not know what the damage is but they may have lost a lot (though fortunately no wineries were damaged).

As an aside, My wife had worked for a number of wineries before working with Jackson Family, and she has never been treated better or with more respect than she is there. I do not know why they get a bad rap at times on this board, but they are not a sterile corporate entity that they are sometimes assumed to be. Their wineries are filled with a very diverse, international team of winemakers and production staff who are all incredibly passionate about their jobs and take great pride in what they produce.

It is a very difficult time and we need all the help we can get. If you know of a specific winery that is hurting due to damage by all means make people aware and suggest they visit it. But please as a whole understand that no one got out of this unscathed and all of the members of this industry are hurting from this event.
Last edited by Rboinski on October 25th, 2017, 9:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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#1178 Post by Brian Tuite »

Hear hear!
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#1179 Post by Nolan E »

Robert, good response. I worked with Jackson for a year and although I chose to move on, I was pleasantly shocked at how well they treat their people and how un-corporate it is.

They took care of their people during all of the flooding that happened over the winter, as well. I don't think any of that was publicized.
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#1180 Post by Paul Luckin »

Metallica, G-Eazy, Dave Matthews Band to play benefit concert at AT&T Park Nov. 9

A coalition of Bay Area business and community leaders have joined forces to organize a major fundraising campaign supporting recovery efforts for the recent firestorm that swept through Northern California, kick-started by a concert featuring Metallica, G-Eazy and Dave Matthews at AT&T Park scheduled for Nov. 9.

The group, which calls itself Band Together Bay Area, has collected $6.5 million, and hopes to raise much more for short, intermediate and long-term relief for low-income families, immigrants and other North Bay fire victims.
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#1181 Post by Brian Tuite »

It’s nice to see things getting back to normal in Santa Rosa

http://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/75636 ... over-sedan
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#1182 Post by Jayson Cohen »

In case it is helpful to anyone recovering from the fires, my law firm created a handbook that it has made available to the public. Please feel free to share the link to this online resource if you find it useful.

https://www.mofo.com/culture/community/ ... fires.html

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#1183 Post by John M Richards »

Rboinski wrote:
John M Richards wrote:
Dan Kravitz wrote:I don't like being a jerk, but often get there anyway. There have been contentious parts of this thread that have made me cringe... everybody up there is under enormous stress and a lot of it has come out in postings.

When I read the post about going to Stonestreet and supporting the local economy, I had mixed thoughts and feelings, which I probably should not share, but will.

First, thinking of people who are financially ruined by the fires, Jess Jackson's family at Stonestreet would not be among my top concerns.

Second, the employees of that winery and vineyard are people who may be well treated and well paid, but they are not themselves wealthy and need to be sure their jobs are there.

Third, I am reasonably confident that Stonestreet has both the resources and the will to treat the people who work their fairly and make sure that their fire-related problems are minimized.

I happen to be a person who admired Jess Jackson and the wine empire he built. Snobs and critics have pooh-poohed Kendall-Jackson Chardonnay almost since the day it became famous, but I like the wine and have enjoyed many, many glasses (to badly mix metaphors, it has been a port in a storm at many wine desert restaurants). I've had some incredibly fine wines from some of their own Estates, including Stonestreet.

Still, if I were able to be a wine tourist in the fire areas, I would not be spending money at Stonestreet, not because they don't deserve it but because other people need it far more.

Dan Kravitz
You are right Dan, you got there anyway. We needed to make a pick up at Stonestreet this fall, and wanted to help out their staff by buying additional wine (for which they get credit). The young woman who helped us had been evacuated from her home by a fire deemed arson by the local Santa Rosa firefighter who fought it. As I mentioned we stopped at several businesses on Highway 12 on the way home, including Swede's Feeds to make additional purchases. I have also given a four figure check to the RCU fire fund which was matched by my company. Next time you think about writing something like this, don't.
Thank you for this. I had wrestled with posting a reply to Dan but deleted after I realized it wasn't productive. My wife was the Assistant Winemaker at Stonestreet and we are very close with all of the staff in production as well as the tasting room, and my wife still works out of that facility in a different role. It feels really rude to attempt to shame someone for supporting a specific winery just because the owners are wealthy. While the family does work very closely with that winery, it is the production and tasting room staff that are there day in and day out giving there all that makes it successful. Many of these employees were displaced (we housed one for a few weeks) and the decision to not support the winery would have a direct effect on them, not just the owner. Please remember the fact that almost all of the people working in this industry are simply locals who need a job and take pride in their work.

Beyond that, the Jackson Family has been a great example of how to help during a disaster. As far as I am aware beyond making a significant donation the family members all took personal steps to help in any way possible. They took evacuated employees into their personal homes, have temporarily provided furnished housing for all employees who lost their homes, provided over 5,000 meals to evacuees firefighters/first responders, provided land for equipment staging/sleeping for firefighters, and also provided climate controlled warehouses to store disaster relief food as it came in. They are also the largest winegrowing landholders in the county and I do not know what the damage is but they may have lost a lot (though fortunately no wineries were damaged).

As an aside, My wife had worked for a number of wineries before working with Jackson Family, and she has never been treated better or with more respect than she is there. I do not know why they get a bad rap at times on this board, but they are not a sterile corporate entity that they are sometimes assumed to be. Their wineries are filled with a very diverse, international team of winemakers and production staff who are all incredibly passionate about their jobs and take great pride in what they produce.

It is a very difficult time and we need all the help we can get. If you know of a specific winery that is hurting due to damage by all means make people aware and suggest they visit it. But please as a whole understand that no one got out of this unscathed and all of the members of this industry are hurting from this event.
It was amazing to go back to Sonoma a week later than my last visit and see the incredible job the first responders, the utility crews and others have done making the Sonoma valley available again. Most of the side roads that were closed last week were open today, and many tasting rooms were open. Please do not cancel your trips to Sonoma, as the wine country is open and available for visitors. [welldone.gif]

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#1184 Post by Tony Jones »

I was in Napa, Yountville and St. Helena last week tasting wine and there was no smoke or really any sign of a fire. There was some traffic because the Silverado Trail was closed. The gentleman at Lewis Cellars told me that don't expect widespread wine shortages from the fires. He did tell me that a lot of the grapes tested positive for smoke taint. Vinters are figuring out what to do with those grapes if anything.

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#1185 Post by Walter Nissen »

I'm sorry for everyone who was affected, physically and mentally, by the fires.

On a lighter note, I was pleased to see that The Girl and the Fig, on the Sonoma Square, didn't have any reservations at 6 this Saturday. So some people are definitely back. Is Warm Springs / Bennett Valley still open between Glen Ellen and Santa Rosa? I think that was right in the fire path, but it's the most direct route between Dutton-Goldfield near Sebastopol and the town of Sonoma. The Charles Schulz Museum is still closed, doing smoke remediation.

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#1186 Post by Brian Tuite »

Walter Nissen wrote:I'm sorry for everyone who was affected, physically and mentally, by the fires.

On a lighter note, I was pleased to see that The Girl and the Fig, on the Sonoma Square, didn't have any reservations at 6 this Saturday. So some people are definitely back. Is Warm Springs / Bennett Valley still open between Glen Ellen and Santa Rosa? I think that was right in the fire path, but it's the most direct route between Dutton-Goldfield near Sebastopol and the town of Sonoma. The Charles Schulz Museum is still closed, doing smoke remediation.
Warm Springs is open in Kenwood but you have to detour off BVR at Sonoma Mountain Rd and loop around to get to it. Warm Springs into Glen Ellen is closed.
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#1187 Post by M. Sai »

Driving around this weekend in Sonoma, traffic was eerily light. A mid-Sunday trip going south on Arnold, through the intersection at Hwy 121, and continuing south past Gloria Ferrer and Cornerstone was an easy cruise. Normally it's jammed with people this time of year.

I can't say how long it will last, but now is a fantastic time to come for a day trip or weekend.
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#1188 Post by dougwilder »

J a y H a c k wrote:Email received during the night from Benovia Winery, which is about 4 miles west of the north end of Santa Rosa, just south of Martinelli:
We are grateful to the first responders who acted so quickly to fight multiple fires in Sonoma, Mendocino, Napa, and Lake Counties and we are relieved to share that we have accounted for everyone on our team and that everyone is safe. However many of the people on our team were evacuated and we fear that some may have lost their homes.

As of right now Benovia Winery and our vineyards are safe.

Along with my wife, Mary, we are praying for our friends and neighbors.

-- Joe Anderson, co-founder, Benovia Winery
This seems like so long ago, Jay yet still so present when you see the devastation everywhere. We were out of the Martinelli barns for a full week. good to be back.
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#1189 Post by Walter Nissen »

Food + Wine is proclaiming wine country, including all roads, open for business. Some wineries are donating tasting fees or sales of selected wines.

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#1190 Post by Maureen Downey »

I’m up here for the first time since the fires. We had initially been told by a neighbor that as they drove away at 2am our house was engulfed in flames.

Driving through Glen Ellen was heart breaking.
We are on 40 acres just south of Bennet Ridge, abutting Annabel State Park on the entire northern and eastern sides of the property.
Everything around the house burned. It came up from Kenwood on the north & east sides, up from Glen Ellen/Enterprise Drive area on the south side, and down from the Bennet Ridge to the west. It is a miracle the house is here. All the forest is gone, and most of trees and brush around the house.
Our door mat & flag both melted, but the house is here. No water, septic, phone/internet/TV, and we are finding more stuff by the hour - but the house is here. Thank God for an amazing gardener who kept the area clear, and for stucco & stone building.
Many neighbors were not so lucky. About half a mile west, on the Bennet Ridge, 75 homes are gone, and life was lost.
We own the water companies in Kenwood & a few other areas of Sonoma. Sadly, many customers were also not so lucky.
It’s going to be a long rebuild for so many.
I’ll post pics when I get back to SF and have internet.
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#1191 Post by Merrill Lindquist »

Oh, Maureen, how sad and terrifying. My thoughts are with you. Just brutal.
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#1192 Post by David Glasser »

So glad to hear the house made it through. I’m sure the rest is just horrible, but at least you have that.

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#1193 Post by Robert.A.Jr. »

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#1194 Post by Roy Piper »

I drove through Fountain Grove today. Even when one is expecting to see the damage, it's jaw dropping. It's gonna take 1-2 years until they can get moving on rebuilding it.
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#1195 Post by Russ Williams »

Robert Alfert, Jr. wrote:What an utterly horrific story:

http://www.latimes.com/local/abcarian/l ... ml?ref=yfp
I sit here with tears running down my face.
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#1196 Post by Brian Tuite »

Roy Piper wrote:I drove through Fountain Grove today. Even when one is expecting to see the damage, it's jaw dropping. It's gonna take 1-2 years until they can get moving on rebuilding it.
Mark West Springs Rd from Old Redwood Hwy/Larkfield to Mark West Lodge is depressing. Black sticks, chimneys and ash. I don’t think I want to go that way for a while even though it’s a 30 min shorter drive to Calistoga.
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#1197 Post by Roy Piper »

Brian Tuite wrote:
Roy Piper wrote:I drove through Fountain Grove today. Even when one is expecting to see the damage, it's jaw dropping. It's gonna take 1-2 years until they can get moving on rebuilding it.
Mark West Springs Rd from Old Redwood Hwy/Larkfield to Mark West Lodge is depressing. Black sticks, chimneys and ash. I don’t think I want to go that way for a while even though it’s a 30 min shorter drive to Calistoga.
It's crazy to see a former two-story house of 5000ft that is no more than 12 inches tall. Just white dust.
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#1198 Post by Brian Tuite »

Bob Wood - 1949-2013 Berserker for eternity! RIP

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#1199 Post by Walter Nissen »

We did go this weekend, it was a good visit but it was pretty emotional at the beginning. We passed the "Grape Crusher" (huge bronze of a guy cranking an old-fashioned basket press, kind of the "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas" of the entrance to Napa) and headed along 12 through Carneros. I'd seen all the pictures on the news, but nothing compares to the creepy feeling that something is wrong. Charcoal hillsides that should be brown. Burned out cars in one driveway. And then you get into the town of Sonoma and everything is just like you remember it. Not that being an observer compares in degree to those who worried about their homes or suffered much worse, but it is unsettling.

We found two small wineries from the Jordan low-alcohol map, and had a great experience. Maclaren is run by Scotsman Steve Maclaren who specializes in cool-climate Sonoma syrah. Pricey, but very good wines and a beautiful and collegial tasting environment. His wife Heather was also working in the tasting room and showed us the locations of the vineyards and described the soil and weather. We also liked Westwood, very "fancy" but many wines of interest and highly personal service. If you've ever wanted to try varietal Counoise, or a cool-climate Rhone blend, I would recommend them as well. Bump was recommended as a child tasting room with board games for the kids, it was not kid-friendly (not that I would have otherwise expected a tasting room to be) but there was a lot of neat art. Quite enjoyed the white Rhone blend and sauvignon blanc, both very reasonably priced for Sonoma. Finished with outstanding food and service at Girl and the Fig, per their usual. It's amazing to see a restaurant operate at such a high level for the price for so long.

So, basically, go to Sonoma.

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#1200 Post by Paul Luckin »

Walter Nissen wrote:We did go this weekend, it was a good visit but it was pretty emotional at the beginning. We passed the "Grape Crusher" (huge bronze of a guy cranking an old-fashioned basket press, kind of the "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas" of the entrance to Napa) and headed along 12 through Carneros. I'd seen all the pictures on the news, but nothing compares to the creepy feeling that something is wrong. Charcoal hillsides that should be brown. Burned out cars in one driveway. And then you get into the town of Sonoma and everything is just like you remember it. Not that being an observer compares in degree to those who worried about their homes or suffered much worse, but it is unsettling.

We found two small wineries from the Jordan low-alcohol map, and had a great experience. Maclaren is run by Scotsman Steve Maclaren who specializes in cool-climate Sonoma syrah. Pricey, but very good wines and a beautiful and collegial tasting environment. His wife Heather was also working in the tasting room and showed us the locations of the vineyards and described the soil and weather. We also liked Westwood, very "fancy" but many wines of interest and highly personal service. If you've ever wanted to try varietal Counoise, or a cool-climate Rhone blend, I would recommend them as well. Bump was recommended as a child tasting room with board games for the kids, it was not kid-friendly (not that I would have otherwise expected a tasting room to be) but there was a lot of neat art. Quite enjoyed the white Rhone blend and sauvignon blanc, both very reasonably priced for Sonoma. Finished with outstanding food and service at Girl and the Fig, per their usual. It's amazing to see a restaurant operate at such a high level for the price for so long.

So, basically, go to Sonoma.
glad you had a good visit, and thank you for supporting wineries on the Sonoma Square.
\m/ >_< \m/

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