We are safe and our wines both in barrel and bottle are safe. 100% of our grapes were harvested before the fires broke.
This picture was taken from our back porch in the middle of the night. We awoke to the sounds of explosions around 3am on Monday. Our home was covered in smoke, ashes and embers. Little did we understand then, only 3 miles east of our home in the Russian River Valley, neighborhoods and businesses were raging with fire.
A fire we suspect was started by freak winds that downed power lines and carried embers throughout our beautiful wine country. By 5am the road we live about 100 yards from, looked like a highway during rush hour. Mostly trucks pulling trailers in attempt to move farm animals out of the danger zone. Ironically, we believe it was the pasture land (and vineyards) that saved our area of Santa Rosa. Seeing the traffic stacked and hearing the sirens and explosions will stay with us for a long while.
More friends have lost homes than we can count right now. We feel lucky, the fire evacuation line stopped 2 miles away from us. The last two days have been replete with many emotions, all we can focus on is who needs help and how can we help the most. It's a scary and uncertain time for every single person in Mendocino, Napa and Sonoma counties.
We also hold our vineyard partners very close this week. We know all families are safe, however a few vineyards were in the thickest of fires zones as we tried to sleep last night. We worry for them and the years of history that might have been demolished. Remaining hopeful and awaiting news.
Please understand these fires in wine country are not a "rich person's problem" , we've read some nasty things online. The livelihoods of thousands depend on a working economy here. Our winery may be small, but it's a part of an enormous economy that allows jobs for thousands of folks. Our very own business partners employ hundreds who depend on wineries like ours...many of their staff members have lost homes this week. The wine industry is unique, complex and takes a behemoth circle of humans to get that single bottle of wine to your dinner table. Yes, keep ordering wines from us and all of our neighbors, we need the supply chain to ramp up stronger than ever before.
As of 10am the fires have not been contained. Stronger winds are on the way and there is no rain forecasted. Our firefighters, first responders and emergency services are fighting this battle with all their strength and heart. It's going to be long few days ahead of us, our bags are packed. Follow any and all updated on IG @smithstorywines and/or @sandwichthedoodle for some comic relief. Also, if you want to hear real-time updates, please live stream www.ksro.com, our local radio station has been invaluable.
We won't let this horrible time stop us, wines are fermenting, sales teams are busy showing our wines, our Storyteller wine club and shipments are prepping and as of now our tasting room will resume normal hours this weekend. For those who've asked where to send NEW socks or how to donate, please visit www.socksforsandwich.org for details. Our sock donations are slim as of today...2017 has been filled with needs across the USA.
Thanks to everyone who've reached out to us, we feel your concern and welcome your prayers.
Love, Eric, Ali and Lord Sandwich.