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194 Restaurants, Vineyards, and Businesses Destroyed by Fast-Moving Wine Country Fire

The Glass Incident Fire spread quickly Thursday night

Cluster Of Destructive Wildfires Burns Through Napa And Sonoma Counties In California
A firefighter sprays water on hot spots while battling the Glass Fire on October 01, 2020 in Calistoga, California
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The Glass Incident Fire has been burning for less than a week, but it’s already wrought a remarkable amount of destruction. As of Friday morning, Cal Fire says the blaze has expanded to 60,148 acres in Napa and Sonoma counties, destroying 194 commercial structures, including wineries, restaurants, resorts, and lodges, as well as more than 220 homes. 28,835 structures are currently threatened by the fire, officials say. As of 7 a.m. Friday, the fire is at 6 percent containment.

2,517 firefighters are currently on the scene of the blaze, which began early in the morning of Sunday, September 27. By the end of the following day, at least 23 restaurants and wineries were damaged or completely lost, including beloved institutions like the three-Michelin-starred Restaurant at Meadowood and the $5 million wine collection of Castello di Amorosa, a tourist destination known for its distinctive medieval-castle-style building (which survived the flames).

Cluster Of Destructive Wildfires Burns Through Napa And Sonoma Counties In California
Burned wine glasses sit in a pile in front of a building at Castello di Amorosa that was destroyed by the Glass Fire on October 01, 2020 in Calistoga, California
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

It’s difficult to know the full extent of the losses quite yet: more than 68,000 people have been evacuated from the area, and it’s unsafe to enter many areas. According to officials who spoke at a press briefing on Friday morning, it could be “several days” before a full damage assessment is made.

Here’s the latest on which restaurants, wineries, and other hospitality businesses have been lost or damaged in the blaze:

  • Behrens Family Winery: Wine Spectator spoke with general manager Schatzi Throckmorton, who says that “Our current information for Spring Mountain is that the winery at Behrens burned, but the tank barn and tasting room there are OK.”
  • Bremer Family Winery: The Bay Area News Group reports that their photographer saw a fully charred vineyard, but that its historic buildings (including an 1891 vintage structure that was the original headquarters of the famous Sutter Home label) have survived.
  • Burgess Cellars: The Howell Mountain winery was completely destroyed, its owners tell Wine Spectator, but “damage to the vineyards was minimal.” “While we are devastated by the loss of these great heritage structures, we were heartened to hear that the vineyards were mainly spared. We look forward to many more great vintages once we can rebuild the winery,” CEO Carlton McCoy Jr. said via statement.
  • Cain Vineyard and Winery: Winemaker Chris Howell tells Chron scribe Esther Mobley that the Spring Mountain winery lost almost all its buildings, including its main winery and “a barn built in the 1970s.”
  • Calistoga Ranch: The luxury resort was “badly damaged,” SF Gate reports. State Sen. Bill Dodd tweeted photos from the scene, which depict leveled buildings and charred picnic tables. The Ranch is home to Lakehouse Restaurant, the status of which remains unknown.
  • Castello di Amorosa: The 13th-century–style winery in Calistoga, known for its unique “castle” building, lost $5 million of wine (based on 120,000 bottles) in the fire, BANG reports, but its $30 million castle remains safe.
  • Chateau Boswell: The winery was one of the first destroyed by the Glass Incident Fire.
  • Davis Estates: The heat from the flames prompted a 1,000-gallon propane tank on the property to explode, owner Mike Davis tells the Chron, but though “everything surrounding the winery” burned, the winery, itself, was saved.
  • Dutch Henry Winery: Owner Scott Chafen tells SF Gate that the winery has “burned down.”
  • Fairwinds Estate Winery: On its website, Fairwinds says that “Most of the Fairwinds Winery and its Tasting Room has been very seriously damaged by the recent Napa Valley fires. ... We are pleased to report our people are all safe. Our hearts go out to friends and neighbors, many of whom have lost their homes and all their belongings. This will change us, but it will not reduce us.” According to video from photojournalist Brittany Hosea-Small, it appears to be completely leveled.
  • Fantesca Estate: The fire took its outdoor tasting deck and some equipment, but the Chron reports that its main winery is still standing.
  • Hourglass Winery: Wine Spectator reports that the proudly “anti-Napa” winery has “extensive damage.” An Instagram post from the winery shows a completely demolished building, and says that “our Blueline Estate was unfortunately in nature’s furious path,” and owner Jeff Smith tells KPIX that its winery facility and 162-year-old guest house were lost.
  • Hunnicutt Wines: The SF Chronicle reports that “much of its winemaking equipment” was lost, but that its winery building is safe.
  • Meadowood Resort: The building that housed the three-Michelin-starred Restaurant at Meadowood, the Grill at Meadowood, and a golf shop has burned to the ground, prompting a flood of social media grief. Co-owner Bill Harlan said “We have to find something positive out of all of this. This gives us the opportunity to rebuild this better than before,” a spokesperson tells ABC 7. But executive chef Christopher Kostow tells the Chron, “It’s weird that it’s all gone. It’s all rendered futile.” Food critic Soleil Ho worries that its loss is the end of an era, saying, “As wildfires become more of a yearly reality in the region, it’s hard to say if anyone will ever want to risk opening another restaurant as ambitious as the one at Meadowood, only to receive ashes in return.”
  • Merus Wines: “One of our production outbuildings at Merus was destroyed, as was one of the two residences on the property. We also lost some farming vehicles,” a spokesperson tells WS. “The winery building is damaged but still intact. There was a small wooden bridge that ran from our parking lot to the winery building that went up in flames. It looks like Cal Fire made a stand there and saved the winery building. Our generator is up and running, and we are going to try to resume operations at some point today after we get things cleaned up.”
  • Newton Vineyard: The Moët-Hennessy-Louis-Vuitton-(LVMH)-owned winery “was significantly impacted, Wine Spectator reports, with a spokesperson saying the company “intends to do whatever it takes to rebuild this truly special place.”
  • Paloma: Sheldon Richards, who owns the Spring Mountain winery, tells WS that he believes the property has been completely destroyed, but that he was forced to flee on Sunday night.
  • School House Vineyard: A house on the property was destroyed.
  • Sherwin Family Vineyards: According to the Chron, the 24-year-old family-owned winery was destroyed.
  • Spring Mountain Vineyard: Its main winery and mansion, which the Chron reminds us was featured in 1980s soap Falcon Crest, is safe, but its vineyard and an 1873-era winery were lost.
  • Sterling Vineyards: Owner Treasury Wine Estates confirmed in a statement “that video footage on social media appears to show Sterling Vineyards suffering fire damage, but that the property is currently evacuated and the damage has yet to be assessed,” WS reports.
  • Tofanelli Vineyards: Owner Vince Tofanelli tells the SF Chronicle that he believes that “many of the grapevines, planted in 1929,” were lost, as was a 120-year-old barn and the winery’s (currently unoccupied) family home.
  • Tuck Beckstoffer Vineyards: Owner Tuck Beckstoffer tells WS that “we saved the winery last night, but everything else was lost.”

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