Terlato's Chimney Rock winery imperiled by California fires

Tuesday, 10 October 2017, 11:09:08 PM. Lake Bluff-based Terlato Wine Group is keeping close tabs on its Napa wineries surrounded by wildfires.

Workers were picking grapes in the vineyards of Chimney Rock winery in Napa Valley early Monday morning when they saw fire on a nearby ridge and had to evacuate, said , president of -based Terlato Wine Group.

Chimney Rock and Rutherford Hill, both wineries owned by Terlato, have so far gone unscathed in the devastating wildfires that coursed through Northern California Sunday night and into Monday. All employees are safe and, as of Monday afternoon, the vineyards are undamaged, Terlato said.

But the wineries are not clear from danger yet, particularly Chimney Rock, which is closer to the Atlas Ridge Fire and currently has no electricity, Terlato said. Because of road closures, the winery also has no generator for sprinkler systems.

“Until we get in there, we won’t know for sure,” he said. “We’re taking it one hour at a time.”

Even if the vineyards aren’t burned by fire, the grapes could still be damaged by smoke, Terlato said. The winds also can change direction at any moment, he said.

Chimney Rock is in the Stag’s Leap district of Napa Valley and closer to Atlas Ridge. Rutherford Hill is about 10 miles north, near the town of St. Helena. Together, they comprise roughly 210 acres.

The firestorm has so far destroyed more than 1,500 structures in Northern California and burned tens of thousands of acres, according to the Los Angeles Times.


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