Of all the bad news about the winery and the vineyards reported by the glass fire, the loss of La Perla is historically the most painful. It was a considerable loss, not only for Spring Mountain Winery, but for the entire Napa Valley. In the basement a number of old wooden carts from the end of the 18th century have been preserved. Centuries-old, historic wine-making equipment, documents, other objects of historical interest and others. It’s all gone. And the beautiful Draper House, situated on a hill next to some of the best views in the whole Napa Valley, with its gardens designed by Thomas Church, has disappeared. Two military barracks built in response to Pearl Harbor also disappeared.
A wooden car from the 1890’s burned down completely near the Château Chevalier in the Spring Mountain Winery. It should be noted that Château Chevalier has been preserved – the aggressive clearing of shrubs and grass throughout the park has certainly contributed to its creation.
I am well aware of the power of qualities. The feeling I had of walking through the old houses on the west coast of Lake Tahoe before they were demolished – the fact that my family lived there for four generations and built up precious memories together with family and friends – was a powerful attraction I will never forget. I’ve never felt anything so strong in my life.
Especially the deer park and parts of Howell Mountain have been destroyed. The diamond mountain was also hit. Many houses were destroyed. One of them, whom we visited at the beginning of the week on the Heitz Trail, was still standing (a friend of the family), surrounded by burning spots, both on the trees and on the ground. One of their relatives stayed up all night to water the house, and behind him the house was well cleaned of bushes and grass. The fire came directly at the front of the house and burned the walls, but surprisingly did not burn the structure.
One of the most valuable but private historic wineries and mining companies in the Napa Valley was burned to the ground for the glass fire at the Bluford Winery in Aetna Springs. The devastation caused by the fire at the bottom of Mount Howell was terrible.
Unlike the fires in the Napa Valley in 2017, which originated from our journey between the most devastated parts of the valley, this fire seems to have been more destructive for the vineyards.
With the Tedeschi family, I helped everyone who needed help that week – we supplied petrol, water (with two flat beds and 8 totalizers, in one place we supplied over 2000 gallons to a small vineyard that fought fires from their property, and stayed with friends and small winemakers we know – and all the other logistics services. But thanks to the water inlet adapter – filling these plastic bags went surprisingly fast – we have now regained respect for the power of pressure. And a view of the location of these fire hydrants throughout the northern valley.
I had the pleasure of being a direct firefighter – and thanks to my very detailed knowledge of the valley and the people who live there, I was able to help the outdoor firefighters identify some houses, vineyards and the area.
Tedeschi was one of the many heroes this week – he even helped stop the fire when it reached the edge of Calistoga and burned along Highway 29. At least some of the transformers near Kalistoga burned out – somehow the huge generators were brought to the place already in the northeast of the city and were heard from Kalistoga for most of the night.
The name Frühlingsberg was probably the most affected – to visit the many places and to climb the Frühlingsbergstraße with still burning flames, the devastation can only be described as apocalyptic. The small parts of Spring Mountain are usually not preserved. It was extremely unpleasant to walk past the Shervin and Bear families hoping that they could recover.
At the time of the last census, the following wineries have suffered significant or total damage to their cellars or other related assets: Behrens Family Winery, Bluford Cellars (LNU complex for lighting glass) Burgess, Cain, Castello di Amarosa, Dutch Henry, Eeden, Fairwinds, Flying Lady, Hourglass, Hunnicutt, Marston Family Winery, Merus, Ritchie Creek (non-manufacturer), Schoolhouse, Sherwin Family, Spring Mountain Vineyard, Sterling, Terra Valentina and Tofanelli.
More leaks may occur; we will amend this list accordingly.
Drive to Deer Park on the road to Angwin.
Vineyards in Eden, the old wine cellar of the Beringer family – watch out for burnt stairs.
Eden Wine House
One of the most valuable private collections of Napa Valley wines and mining history, Bluford Cellars.
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