Two Sonoma County wineries damaged by Kincade fire in Alexander Valley
At least two wineries burned in the Alexander Valley on Sunday as the Kincade fire poured out of the hills to the valley floor, where fire crews worked to save other wineries along Highway 128.
Soda Rock Winery suffered major damage as flames enveloped the stone buildings on the property. Ken and Diane Wilson bought the winery in 2000 and embarked in a restoration project to bring it back to its former glory.
Buildings at the Spire Collection at Field Stone Vineyard were also damaged, but the extent could not be determined by Sunday morning. The property is owned by Jackson Family Wines. Proprietor Julia Jackson lost her Geyserville house last week as a result of the blaze.
Other nearby wineries appear to be relatively unscathed, including Verité Winery and Alexander Valley Vineyards.
Hank Wetzel, owner of Alexander Valley Vineyards, said several outbuildings suffered minor damage on his property. He has about 500 tons of grapes in the vineyard, which he hasn’t picked since Oct. 22 and could likely go to rot as the property does not have electricity.
“We just don’t know if we are going to get them picked at this point,” Wetzel said.
About 80 percent of the Alexander Valley wine grape crop had been picked before the Kincade fire started last week, said Michael Haney, executive director of the Sonoma County Vintners trade group. The valley is typically the last wine region where harvest wraps up for the season and is known for its premium cabernet sauvignon.
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You can reach Staff Writer Bill Swindell at 521-5223 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @BillSwindell.