Glass Fire Update – 10.04.2020

Day 8 of the #GlassFire.

Thank you to all of you for your continued support, thoughts and prayers as we face the impact of the Glass Fire. We will be updating this page as more information comes in from our member wineries regarding their status and the damage caused.

If you wish to support them please head over to their websites. A large number of them hold a certain amount of wine off-site and are still able to process wine orders.

Bergman Family Vineyards

First, we want to thank everyone for their concern, calls, texts, and prayers—the situation is fluid and changes by the hour. The firefighters including our volunteer crew on-site,  strike teams from San Ramon and Kern County, Cal Fire and California Department of Forestry are doing all they can to protect our home, cottage and vineyard because it sits above numerous wineries, vineyards and homes below us along Highway 29, and acts as a shield for those family vineyards and wineries. 

As of Saturday morning, 10.03.20, we have lost over 10 of 40 acres to fire on our property. We made the decision to let any of our forested areas burn once more breaks to protect our home,  cottage and maintenance yard were ordered by the California Department of Forestry. We have designed our property to utilize our vineyard as a fire break and our meadow as a secondary firebreak to slow the fire.  We utilize forestry management techniques annually to clear underbrush and chip dead vegetation in place to slow the fires through the meadow so that firefighting can be effectively implemented. It is difficult to live through a catastrophic level fire event and implement these decisions in the moment as planned, but it is working.  We just need to stay the course.

Last night (10.03.20) there was a new arm of the fire north of the Bale Mill as Bothe Park continues to be completely consumed by the fire.  We are hoping the firefighters were able to get that area under control overnight so that Bale Mill and the homes at the north edge of the park there are also saved. They used aerial water support for the first time since fires started on Spring Mountain because the breeze finally cleared the heavy smoke yesterday afternoon.  For us, last night was another night of backlighting fires, scouting, putting out spot fires, more vegetation clearing and tree removal where critical and, of course, ongoing support to our neighbors. Our bubble of a ‘neighborhood’ along lower Spring Mountain remains intact. Sending strength and encouragement to the firefighters stationed everywhere in Napa today.  Be safe.

You may direct any questions to inquire@bergmanestate.com
Bergman Estates website

Keenan Winery

We made it through. Thursday afternoon through Friday morning was our final test and the biggest push by the fire since last Sunday night. The fire line arrived Thursday morning having just shot up from Bothe park. We tried everything to stop it from wrapping around the vineyards and towards the winery and homes but access and terrain made that impossible.

By 2pm Matt and I knew our last stand would be at the edge of the parking lot in front of the winery. The dread we felt waiting for the moment that we’d first see the flames marching through the trees is beyond compare. The first sign we knew the fire was upon us wasn’t the orange glow but the wind that the fire itself creates. Bending the trees, whipping the canopies, and growling up the mountain like some unseen forest monster. There was a moment when it was fully upon us but before the professionals arrived that we thought about running.

Engine 17 from the St Helena FD arrived as the fire approached the front door of the winery. I’ve never felt such relief. Engine 17 spent the next 40 minutes digging breaks and extinguishing trees. For a minute we thought we had it. That was naive. Next thing I hear is someone yelling about a hot spot that had jumped our road into a large, lush, unburned block of forest that connects to our cellar masters home all the way up to Phillip Tognis’ estate. We knew then that the worst was ahead of us.

For the rest of the night, we did what we could to assist Engine 17 and the crews from Hemet FD. The fire arced all the way around the Chardonnay bowl, into Art’s backyard, racing up the hill towards the Cab house and finally towards the front gate. All the while just hoping and praying the winds we were promised would remain absent and remain absent they did. That is the singular reason the pros were able to drag, push, and nurse the fire line where they wanted. The most spectacular and horrifying show I have ever witnessed. We are safe and we are grateful.

Reilly Keenan
Keenan Website

Paloma Vineyard

Friends of Paloma,

Paloma stands intact after a week of being surrounded by ravenous fires climbing up the Mountain to burn from all sides of our fence line! Our family fought back together inch-by-inch knocking down hot spots at Paloma. Special thanks to my son, Caston, and his girlfriend, Heidi, who came to help with the harvest and ended up being firefighters! We tested the fire truck multiple times helping our neighbors. We ran fire patrols ‘round the clock hourly with no rest. Your support and prayers kept us going. Without them, we would have not survived!

Our gratitude goes out to the heroic firefighters from across California who flocked up Spring Mountain when we needed them the most. Their fierce perseverance saved lives and livelihoods. We are also proud to say that Paloma Vineyards’ proper ground maintenance helped defeat advancing fires.

My heartfelt thanks to each of you for the hundreds and hundreds of supportive emails and messages sent to us. Since the start of the fire Sunday we have had no electricity, Internet or phone service, so I am only just able to respond now. THANK YOU ALL! Makes our efforts to deliver world-class wine ever more significant!

Finally, our undivided gratitude to those who support us by purchasing Paloma—thank you from the bottom of our hearts! Paloma 2012 is on sale at US$ 50 per bottle, with free shipping for case orders (12, 24, 36)!

Keep safe, keep strong, and let’s celebrate life, family and love together! And an end to negative politics, COVID and fire!

We are here for you as you are for us.

Sheldon
Paloma Website

School House Vineyard

School House Vineyard

John and Nancy are on the property and are safe. We have lost the older house in the vineyard, a shed and carport. Minimal vine damage thus far.
School House Website

Vineyard 7 & 8

One week ago the #glassfire erupted in Napa Valley, beginning its path of destruction, taking with it so many homes, wineries, resorts, and places we all love. The landscape of this amazing valley will be changed forever, but our community is stronger than ever.

I witnessed first-hand neighbors coming together, working alongside the many fire crews, doing anything and everything to save still untouched areas of our mountains, including our family estate (@v7and8).

As the crews continue to make further progress, as containment grows and the skies begin to clear, so does the path to recovery. There is still much to assess and a very long road ahead.

We are working to gather the best ways to help and will share that this coming week with our mailing list members.

With the support of each other, with the support of you all, Napa Valley will stand again, even better than before!

Wesley Steffens
Vineyard 7 & 8 Website

York Creek Vineyard

At York Creek Vineyards we have lost 2 houses at the West (upper) and East (lower) extremes of the ranch, and our barn and all equipment. Most buildings survived. We will report later in more detail about the vineyards and orchards.
York Creek Website