Photos: California wildfires spare vineyards but wine and tourism could suffer

Many residents and businesses, even those not directly impacted by the California wildfires, lost weeks of work as fires forced evacuations and road closures. Relieved by the fact that the fires spared the vineyards, one of the largest resource in the region which provides employment opportunities to many; the workers and owners of the winery business have an uphill task ahead as concern over the quality of wine and tourism spills doubt over the consumers.

UPDATED ON OCT 30, 2017 01:48 PM IST 8 Photos
1 / 8
Field workers with Palo Alto Vineyard Management pick Syrah grapes during a harvest operation in Kenwood, California. Over two weeks after deadly wildfires ripped through Sonoma and Napa counties, most of the workers and owners feared destruction of the vineyards which is a major source of employment and livelihood in the wine country. But as the smoke cleared, those depending on the wine production for their bread were relieved to discover that the devastating fire had largely relinquished the vineyards. (Justin Sullivan / AFP)

Field workers with Palo Alto Vineyard Management pick Syrah grapes during a harvest operation in Kenwood, California. Over two weeks after deadly wildfires ripped through Sonoma and Napa counties, most of the workers and owners feared destruction of the vineyards which is a major source of employment and livelihood in the wine country. But as the smoke cleared, those depending on the wine production for their bread were relieved to discover that the devastating fire had largely relinquished the vineyards. (Justin Sullivan / AFP)

UPDATED ON OCT 30, 2017 01:48 PM IST
2 / 8
A field worker with Palo Alto Vineyard Management carries a bucket of freshly picked Syrah grapes during a harvest operation. Throughout the Napa and Sonama counties, the fires have left a scorched, blackened field but spared the vineyards. (Justin Sullivan / Getty Images / AFP)

A field worker with Palo Alto Vineyard Management carries a bucket of freshly picked Syrah grapes during a harvest operation. Throughout the Napa and Sonama counties, the fires have left a scorched, blackened field but spared the vineyards. (Justin Sullivan / Getty Images / AFP)

UPDATED ON OCT 30, 2017 01:48 PM IST
3 / 8
But many fear the smoke and heat might have compromised this year’s vintage wine supply and quality, as the potential damage to the grapes could take months or even years to surface. (Justin Sullivan / Getty Images / AFP)

But many fear the smoke and heat might have compromised this year’s vintage wine supply and quality, as the potential damage to the grapes could take months or even years to surface. (Justin Sullivan / Getty Images / AFP)

UPDATED ON OCT 30, 2017 01:48 PM IST
4 / 8
A field worker picks Syrah grapes during a harvest operation in Kenwood, California. Besides wine, the vineyard industry is dependent on tourism with October and November being the peak season. The recent fires have sent a wave of concern among those involved in the winery business. (Justin Sullivan / Getty Images / AFP)

A field worker picks Syrah grapes during a harvest operation in Kenwood, California. Besides wine, the vineyard industry is dependent on tourism with October and November being the peak season. The recent fires have sent a wave of concern among those involved in the winery business. (Justin Sullivan / Getty Images / AFP)

UPDATED ON OCT 30, 2017 01:48 PM IST
5 / 8
The Napa region is known to have more than 1,200 wineries, and fewer than 10 were heavily damaged. Most tasting rooms have reopened and vintners expect the 2017 vintage to be excellent as 90 percent of this year’s grapes were harvested before the fires struck. (Justin Sullivan / Getty Images / AFP)

The Napa region is known to have more than 1,200 wineries, and fewer than 10 were heavily damaged. Most tasting rooms have reopened and vintners expect the 2017 vintage to be excellent as 90 percent of this year’s grapes were harvested before the fires struck. (Justin Sullivan / Getty Images / AFP)

UPDATED ON OCT 30, 2017 01:48 PM IST
6 / 8
A worker at a vineyard with Palo Alto Vineyard Management dumps a bucket of freshly picked Syrah grapes into a bin during a harvest operation in Kenwood, California. (Justin Sullivan / Getty Images / AFP)

A worker at a vineyard with Palo Alto Vineyard Management dumps a bucket of freshly picked Syrah grapes into a bin during a harvest operation in Kenwood, California. (Justin Sullivan / Getty Images / AFP)

UPDATED ON OCT 30, 2017 01:48 PM IST
7 / 8
Consumers are worried about the taste of 2017 vintage wine as the smoke might have tainted the grapes, killing its flavour. The issue is complicated by the fact that the interaction with smoke can cause chemical compounds to form within the grapes which may be undetectable by taste or smell, initially. (Justin Sullivan / Getty Images / AFP)

Consumers are worried about the taste of 2017 vintage wine as the smoke might have tainted the grapes, killing its flavour. The issue is complicated by the fact that the interaction with smoke can cause chemical compounds to form within the grapes which may be undetectable by taste or smell, initially. (Justin Sullivan / Getty Images / AFP)

UPDATED ON OCT 30, 2017 01:48 PM IST
8 / 8
A worker at Kunde Family Winery looks on as freshly harvested Syrah grapes and grape juice fall from a bin into a destemming machine in California. The wildfires have left the workers in a state of apathy. When the wildfires ignited, vineyard workers stopped picking grapes and fled for their lives most of whom are still looking for relief with their houses and other assets burnt to ashes. (Justin Sullivan / Getty Images / AFP)

A worker at Kunde Family Winery looks on as freshly harvested Syrah grapes and grape juice fall from a bin into a destemming machine in California. The wildfires have left the workers in a state of apathy. When the wildfires ignited, vineyard workers stopped picking grapes and fled for their lives most of whom are still looking for relief with their houses and other assets burnt to ashes. (Justin Sullivan / Getty Images / AFP)

UPDATED ON OCT 30, 2017 01:48 PM IST
SHARE
Story Saved