Scores of Napa Wineries, Restaurants, and Resorts Have Been Damaged by the Glass Incident Fire – Eater SF

A swiftly-moving wildfire that ignited on the Napa-Sonoma County border just a few days ago has grown to 42,560 acres, according to CalFire’s incident report at 9 a.m. Tuesday. So far, it is completely uncontained, officials say, and has destroyed 113 structures. Among those damaged or lost are 14 restaurants, resorts, and wineries, including Calistoga Ranch and St. Helena’s vaunted Restaurant at Meadowood.

The fire began at 3:50 a.m. on Sunday, September 27, and rapidly spread over 10,000 acres. Initially termed the “Glass Fire,” that name was changed to the “Glass Incident Fire” after it merged with two other, smaller, blazes.

Glass Fire Napa California

The Glass Fire burns along Silverado Trail in Napa County near the Chateau Boswell Winery on Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020 in St. Helena, CA
Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

By early Monday, the family-owned Château Boswell Winery, which had been in operation since 1975, was consumed. The Black Rock Inn, a boutique bed-and-breakfast near downtown St. Helena, was also destroyed.

As the day went on, the destruction list mounted. In addition to a multitude of residences and commercial buildings, at least eight wineries were damaged or completely lost. Restaurants, resorts, and wineries affected by the fire include:

  • Burgess Cellars: The Howell Mountain winery was completely destroyed, its owners tell Wine Spectator, but “damage to the vineyards was minimal.”
  • Calistoga Ranch: The luxury resort was “badly damaged,” SF Gate reports. State Sen. Bill Dodd tweeted photos from the scene, which depict leveled buildings and charred picnic tables. The Ranch is home to the Lakehouse Restaurant, the status of which remains unknown.
  • Castello di Amorosa: a 13th-century–style winery in Calistoga known for its unique “castle” building. Its castle remains safe, but “the huge storage building holding millions of dollars of bottled wine is ruined,” KPIX reports.
  • Chateau Boswell: The winery was one of the first destroyed by the Glass Incident Fire.
  • Davis Winery: The heat from the flames prompted a 1,000-gallon propane tank on the property to explode, owner Mike Davis tells the Chron, but though “everything surrounding the winery” burned, the winery, itself, was saved.
  • Fairwinds Estate Winery: On its website, Fairwinds says that “Most of the Fairwinds Winery and its Tasting Room has been very seriously damaged by the recent Napa Valley fires…We are pleased to report our people are all safe. Our hearts go out to friends and neighbors, many of whom have lost their homes and all their belongings. This will change us, but it will not reduce us.” According to video from photojournalist Brittany Hosea-Small, it appears to be completely leveled.
  • Hourglass Winery: Wine Spectator reports that the proudly “anti-Napa” winery has “extensive damage.” ”It’s hard to say what the true damage is,” winemaker Anthony Biagi tells WS. “The fire burned through our Blueline vineyard adjacent to Calistoga Ranch.”
  • Hunnicutt Wines: The SF Chronicle reports that “much of its winemaking equipment” was lost, but that its winery building is safe.
  • Meadowood Resort: The building that housed three-Michelin-star the Restaurant at Meadowood, the Grill at Meadowood, and a golf shop has burned to the ground.
  • Newton Vineyard: The Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH) owned winery “was significantly impacted, Wine Spectator reports, with a spokesperson saying that the company “intends to do whatever it takes to rebuild this truly special place.”
  • Paloma: Sheldon Richards, who owns the Spring Mountain winery, tells WS that he believes the property has been completely destroyed, but that he was forced to flee on Sunday night.
  • Sterling Vineyards: A statement from owner Treasury Wine Estates confirmed “that video footage on social media appears to show Sterling Vineyards suffering fire damage, but that the property is currently evacuated and the damage has yet to be assessed,” WS reports.
  • Tofanelli Vineyards: Owner Vince Tofanelli tells the SF Chronicle that he believes that “many of the grapevines, planted in 1929,” were lost, as was a 120-year-old barn and the winery’s (currently unoccupied) family home.
  • Tuck Beckstoffer Vineyards: Owner Tuck Beckstoffer tells WS that “we saved the winery last night, but everything else was lost.”

Many more winery owners say that they’re waiting until Tuesday to return to their properties and assess the damage, so this list will likely grow. According to the Napa County Office of Emergency Services, there are 64 total wineries within the evacuation zone, a significant percentage of Napa Valley’s 400 (or so) total wineries or tasting rooms.

On Monday, Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency in Napa, Sonoma, and Shasta counties (home to a separate wildfire known as the Zogg Fire, which has killed three people and destroyed at least 100 structures, KCRA reports) for the explosive wildfires burning out-of-control. As of late Monday, over 68,000 people have been evacuated from the fire zone, including the entire town of Calistoga, and 8,500 structures are threatened by the blaze.

So far, no cause has been given for the Glass Incident Fire, which is one of nearly 30 fire clusters burning across the state.