The Glass Fire burns a hillside above Silverado Trail in St. Helena, Calif., on Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)
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 its 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 repair man and the new equipment up to the winery. One of the firemen yesterday 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 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 and women 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. We will update you more as the rest of this bizarre year unfolds.
President Keenan Winery