Glass Fire Update – 10.06.2020

Day 10 of the #GlassFire.

It’s going to be a long road to recovery but one thing keeps coming through, we are in this together and our community is strong! 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.

Featured Photo

A little background on the featured image to this update sent in by Pam Bergman of Bergman Family Vineyards:

Pictured in the photo is one of the strike forces came by for breakfast yesterday to the Bergman Family Vineyards. They are from San Ramon Valley Fire and were part of a task force of strike teams that protected their ranch from Contra Costa County, including San Ramon Valley Fire, El Cerrito Fire, Moraga-Orinda Fire, Contra Costa County Fire ad Rodeo-Hercules Fire.  They were responsible for the areas of lower Spring Mountain including Stony Hill, Bergman Family Vineyards, and everyone below on the highway.  True heroes!

Fe Wines

We are saddened by the amount of destruction that has been reported in the Spring Mountain District.  Thanks to the swift professionalism of fire crews in the area and their skill and bravery, they battled the blaze in next door Bothe State Park on Saturday, October 3rd, often from our property and contained the spread, allowing Fe to be spared from fire damage.

Even our intrepid winemaker, Aaron Pott, who kept a watchful eye on the property during the ordeal was there to lend a hand, a hose, and a chainsaw in aiding the crews in their work.  We are grateful to both Aaron and the firefighter heroes that protected us from the fire. We were extremely fortunate, and would like to express our sincere condolences to our neighbors who were more severely impacted by the fire.

Joanne and Jon Goldstein
Proprietors Fe Wines
Fe Wines website

Keenan Winery

We’ve somehow miraculously made it through this hellish week intact and in relatively good spirits. All team members are safe, all of our buildings have made it through unscathed and we have sustained only minor damage to the vineyards. This is so hard to believe! With bone dry drought conditions and the fact that the Spring Mountain area has not had a significant fire incident since the middle of the 19th century it is absolutely amazing the property survived 3 separate assaults by this perniciously malevolent fire beast.

Aside from almost the entire appellation looking like a moonscape our greatest concerns are still numerous. Spring Mountain Road is closed to all but essential workers so it’s hard for us to get people and supplies up for much-needed repairs. Our AC system at the winery went on the fritz before the fire and we can’t yet get the repairman and the new equipment up to the winery. One of the firemen yesterday (10/2) said the Air Quality at the winery was 700 and it wasn’t much better inside the building.

Our main water feed from the upper bowl melted in the climactic last fire assault on Thursday night. Matt has done a temporary repair to get water back to all the buildings but his. The problem is we can’t get into the forested area to do a proper permanent fix until we get some tree guys in there and have all the about to fall burned dead trees removed. Same goes for the incline section of our driveway from Arts’ house to the Gate, a tree seems to fall every 10 minutes.

Then there is the lack of power issue. We have a large propane run generator to fire up the winery but that tank is running low and Suburban Propane can’t get to us yet.

The wifi is down, or should I say, melted down, literally. These issues are on a far different level the ones that we have dealt with all this last week but real nonetheless.

The actions of our team to save the property this week have been nothing short of heroic. And of course, I wish to thank the amazing men of St Helena engine number 17 who showed up just as Matt (shown left of Art in the adjoining image) and Reilly (shown in the image below) were running out of bullets to fire on the Fires’ final assault on Thursday evening, truly movie like timing.

Art and Reilly are in the cellar today working on the 2020 wines. We were very close to finishing picking the estate, in fact, we had a crew scheduled for last Monday to finish picking.

There will be a 2020 vintage, there will just be a little less than usual.

Micheal Keenan
President Keenan Winery
Keenan website

Stony Hill Vineyards

Dear Friends,

It has been a long, hard ten days here in St. Helena. Thanks to so many of you for your calls, emails, texts and inquiries on social media. Now that the smoke has literally cleared, we wanted to give you an update. We should start by saying that all of Stony Hill’s people, buildings and vineyards made it through the week. And we are incredibly grateful for the hard work of many, many firefighters, team members and some truly heroic neighbors. We would not be sending you this positive note without their tireless efforts and communication!

When the fire broke out Sunday morning a week ago, it started in the eastern hills directly across the valley from Stony Hill and burned there throughout the day. By evening, the winds picked up and carried embers and debris across the valley and quickly ignited numerous fires on Spring Mountain. Stony Hill was spared that first night, but the fire burned hot and fast all the way west to Santa Rosa, destroying many of our neighbors’ properties in the southern and western portions of the Spring Mountain AVA.

The blaze spent the next few days slowly closing in on Stony Hill and by Wednesday night it was our turn to fight. Thanks to the hard work of four fire crews from around the state, our very own Chris Hall, as well as the seriously amazing work of our friends and neighbors Jon and Lily Berlin from El Molino Winery, Stony Hill is here to make wine for another vintage! The surrounding forest took a beating and the crews spent 36 hours fighting back the encroaching flames. In the end, we lost trees, shrubs, grasses, quite a bit of peripheral infrastructure, and one tractor. But the things that truly matter: the people, the vines, and the wines are all intact.

We are feeling very fortunate. We have many friends and neighbors who have suffered terrible loss this week. Our damage has been minor by comparison. We now begin the work of cleaning up our small wounds and helping others on Spring Mountain and in the valley repair and rebuild. It’s going to take some time, but we are a strong community full of caring people and we will all get through this together.

Many of you have asked what you can do to help the Napa community. We have two suggestions:

  1. You can make a contribution to one of the local funds established to help those affected by the fires. Here are two that we would recommend:
    The Napa Valley Community Disaster Relief Fund
    Latino Community Foundation CA Wildfire Relief Fund
  2. Buy and drink Napa Valley wines! Even wineries that were not directly affected have been unable to conduct business as usual. Open a bottle, raise a glass, and consider purchasing something from one of your favorite Napa producers. They would really appreciate it.

Thank you, as always, for your continued support and love for Stony Hill. Here’s to what we hope will be an uneventful rest of 2020.

All our best,
The Stony Hill Team
Stony Hill website