Sharp decline expected in grape yield due to Sonoma, Napa county fires

The two-story tall, metal Love sculpture still stands at Paradise Ridge Winery, in Santa Rosa, California, on Thursday, October 12, 2017. The winery's tasting room, wine production facility and some of the surrounding vineyards and gardens were destroyed by the Tubbs fire three days earlier. (Alvin Jornada / The Press Democrat)


In Wine Country, the wildfires will result in a lower yield for the 2017 grape harvest, analysts and vintners said.

Areas around Atlas Peak and Mount Veeder regions in Napa County are expected to see sharp declines in grape yields, particularly cabernet sauvignon and peitit verdot.

Along with the damage to winery buildings, concern is growing over the amount of vineyard acreage that has burned or been severely damaged. For example, Potter Valley in Mendocino County suffered losses to vines on at least five properties totaling about 200 acres. It takes anywhere from three to five years for a replanted vineyard to start producing fruit again.

“You’re talking about five years of not having revenue coming in,” said Rob McMillan, founder of Silicon Valley Bank’s wine division based in St. Helena.