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    tommy's Avatar
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    NYT: How Sonoma's Vineyards Survived a Siege of Fire

    How Sonoma’s Vineyards Survived a Siege of Fire, Smoke and Ash
    After terrifying wildfires threatened their homes and livelihoods, locals worked together to rebuild and to better protect their landscapes for the future.
    By Michele Bigley
    July 3, 2019

    For 10 days in October 2017, raining embers ravaged California’s Wine Country. Fueled by 70-mile-per-hour winds, the Nuns and Tubbs fires in Sonoma Valley barreled out of control toward the communities of Santa Rosa, Glen Ellen, Kenwood and Sonoma. When the fires were finally contained, 25 people and countless pets, native animals and livestock died. Entire neighborhoods were swallowed by fire. Many workers and owners of vineyards, including the Bundschu family of Sonoma Valley’s oldest winery, would not know for days whether their livelihood survived.

    Outside the valley, the news media reported that the oldest commercial wine region in the state was now a memory. No more award-winning chardonnay or zinfandel. No longer would the agritourism industry employ one in 10 residents. Nothing was left for the seven million annual travelers to experience Sonoma Valley’s diverse, dependable and prolific grapes.

    Yet it turned out that vineyards are a natural fire break. Throughout the valley, few vines actually burned because constant watering and attention made the earth too inhospitable for fire. And as most grapes that autumn had already been harvested, the smoke that hung over the valley for weeks after the fires caused minimal harm. Sonoma Valley’s wines remain untainted and dependably delicious.

    Continues here

    Last edited by Barry; 07-11-2019 at 10:27 AM.
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