Key To Wine Country Fire Recovery: Buying and Selling

Here in Napa wine country, I spent most of last week keeping an eye on the danger, checking in with vulnerable friends and clients and reading the Twitter feed of Sarah Stierch. But I was also exposed to various news articles predicting doom for the Napa, Sonoma and California wine industries.

There was a slew of shoddy articles that together gave the impression that either Napa was wiped off the map or that there will be no drinkable wine for the foreseeable future. In addition, I read a number of folks claiming that the Napa wine industry will be just fine because they are all rich MoFo’s.

First, the Napa Valley stands. Strong. Second, anyone who thinks that the producers of Napa wine are all rich, condescending dilettantes who can’t be hurt by the week’s events are wildly misinformed about Napa Valley and the way the wine industry works.

The first order of business for the Napa Valley, Sonoma and Mendocino wine industries is to demonstrate they are alive, kicking and serving. And if America’s wine drinkers really do want to contribute to the health of the industry, there is one primary thing they can do: BUY A BOTTLE OF WINE DIRECT FROM THE SOURCE!!

There is one GREAT way to do this.

Buy Tickets to attend the San Francisco Vintners Market—November 4 & 5
This is a particularly good way to show your support for the wine industry. Numerous small and family-owned wineries attend this annual event at Fort Mason where attendees can not only taste the wines of obscure and small wineries, but they can also buy and carry away products at the event. At last count there are more than 100 wineries that will be pouring and selling at the 2017 SF Vintners Market. The SF Vintners Market takes on greater relevance today. It serves as a showcase for the vital nature of Northern California’s most visible industry just at the time when messages of its demise are too frequent and too easily published and too easily believed.

I wasn’t so committed to this event until the fires hit and the vulnerability of the industry was heightened by all the bad and damaging info that was published. Now, I am committed to this event as a GREAT way for consumers the support small, family wineries and for wineries to demonstrate their resilience.

Meanwhile, the organizers of the SF Vintners Market are committing to donate 50% of all Sunday ticket sales to the Redwood Credit Union Community Fund. A kind bonus.

Wine Lovers: Get Your Tickets Here

Wineries: Get Your Table at the SF Vintners Market Here

5 Responses

  1. Jennifer Trainor - October 17, 2017

    Tom, Thanks for the info about the San Francisco Vintners Market. I just tried the link but got an error message. Maybe it’s a broken link?

  2. Tom Wark - October 17, 2017

    Jennifer…Odd. Works for me. Just go here:

  3. Charlie Olken - October 17, 2017

    Doom? Well, yes and no. Certainly a great catastrophe, and one that has greatly harmed some wineries while almost totally sparing others in the area. But, for those that have burned to the ground and for those who have lost some of their inventories and/or vineyards, it is no laughing matter.

    And it is no laughing matter no matter how wealthy any of them are. For some, sure, wine is nothing more than a rich man’s lifestyle choice. They could be raising show ponies or racing yachts or all those other things that most of us will never get to do.

    But, for others, wine is the business that supports and unifies their families. It is a mixed bag, and just as we cannot put one blanket over all wineries in Napa or Sonoma and proclaim their fates in some universal fashion, so too can the world not simplify the winery ownership patterns in such a way that the grief and gut-churning horror has affected so many is simply dismissed out of hand.

    There will be impacts. There will be wines that suffer from smoke taint. There will be wines that suffer because their makers could not attend to them for days on end. As an industry, this too shall pass. There are 600 wineries in the Napa Valley and most will be just fine in the long run.

    Yes, wholesale doom and gloom is outrageously inappropriate. Keeping an eye out for the impacts, the inevitable impacts is not.

  4. all-about-wine - October 23, 2017

    yes you are doing a great work definitely need to share

  5. Tony Correia - October 26, 2017

    Amen, in the end, it is just another year in the farming game, and as my Dad used to say: “Better a bad year, than a bad neighbor”.
    We’re going out to dinner in a local restaurant here in Sonoma and gonna buy a local wine, tonite, and tomorrow nite, and the nite after, and the nite after that.

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