Posted on November 15th, 2017
The fires have subsided and Napa and Sonoma are open for business; now is the time to go before the crowds come back in force. The roads are quiet, tasting rooms sit empty and all of that delicious California wine is just waiting to be enjoyed. This truly is an unprecedented opportunity to enjoy wine country the way it used to be—-before the traffic, packed tasting rooms and reservations-only restaurants. You’ll have wine country all to yourself if you drop everything and go.
Consider this: of the nearly 500 wineries in the Napa Valley, only seven, which is seven too many, wineries were severely damaged or lost. This is not intended to diminish the ruin and rebuilding that many face in the wake of these fires. The region has suffered a great blow, but life is going forward and tourism is the lifeblood of wine country.
Right now people’s livelihoods are imperiled, not by wildfires but by the staggering drop in tourism. According to Ali Paterson, Marketing Director at V. Sattui Winery: “Innkeepers reporting that most reservations in the next month have been cancelled; tour operators reporting mass cancellations, wineries and restaurants are seeing a fraction of the number of visitors that are usually here during the harvest season and many of the victims of the disaster are experiencing a double disaster for lack of work and or layoffs due to lack of business.”
Wide open spaces, empty seats in some of the world’s finest restaurants, the pool and spa all to yourself, and empty tasting rooms full of wine—your wine country needs you. If nothing, consider it your civic duty and make plans to visit ASAP.