Texas wine industry reacts to the devastating California fires

Firefighters in California continue to battle close to two dozen wildfires, many of which have destroyed sprawling vineyards.

Firefighters in California continue to battle close to two dozen wildfires, many of which have destroyed sprawling vineyards.

William Chris vineyards has been open since 2010 and grows all their grapes right here in Texas. Co-owner William Blackmon has been in the business since 1983. He told us, "The Texas industry is not going to be impacted in a financial way by this."

So far the wildfires have burned about 275 square miles of land. That is like taking all of San Antonio north of Highway 10 and burning it to the ground.

Blackmon says he's not concerned money at all, but the human toll of the devastating blazes. "What is impacting us is the relationships we have with our friends and growers and wineries in Sonoma and Napa," said Blackmon.

The Paradise Ridge winery lost all of its 2017 harvest and 10,000 bottles when the fire ripped through. Many wineries will have to start over which is not an easy process.

When you have a wildfire that burns everything above ground it takes a vineyard about five years to fully bounce back, but some of those vines have been there for over 100 years. Blackmon said, "It's just a matter of totally starting over from scratch."

He says he hasn't heard from of his friends who had to evacuate but some of those he has heard from just don't know what their future holds. He said, "I've got friends up there and they haven't heard how their property is."

And he feels for all of those who have lost so much. Blackmon added, "We know what they go through to produce that wine and that bottle and what that means to them and to the community that they are living in. That's the impact to us."

There are relief efforts underway to help those affected by the fires. Check out these links to see how you can help:

http://www.napavalleycf.org/supporting-napa-county-fire-relief-efforts/
http://www.sonomacf.org/sonoma-county-resilience-fund/
http://www.communityfound.org/
 

© 2017 KENS-TV


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