THE PAVILIONS PHUKET BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET Kata Rocks
Login | Create Account Poll Currency Weather Facebook Youtube Search

Green vineyards stand out in black of California fires

UNITED STATES: Odd pockets of lush green – grape vines, believe it or not – stand out amid the ashen landscape left by northern California’s wildfires.

disasterseconomicsnatural-resourcesenvironmentweather
By AFP

Saturday 21 October 2017, 01:54PM


Vines are pretty sturdy when it comes to surviving flames, and have acted as a sort of fire wall amid the ashen landscape left by northern California’s wildfires Photo: Robyn Beck / AFP

Vines are pretty sturdy when it comes to surviving flames, and have acted as a sort of fire wall amid the ashen landscape left by northern California’s wildfires Photo: Robyn Beck / AFP

It turns out vines are pretty sturdy when it comes to surviving flames, and they act as a sort of fire wall.

At the Rocca winery in Napa, a patch of land called the Collinetta is intact, like other vineyards around it.

Looking around from inside the vineyard, the scene is practically apocalyptic: in every direction thick choking smoke rises from rolling hills where firefighters tackle blazes that have now killed 31 people, forced thousands from their homes and destroyed more than 3,000 buildings.

Helicopters buzz overhead amid a widespread sense of urgency and impending doom. But at the Collinetta, things are fine. The Cabernet Sauvignon grapes are OK, and animals on the rural estate do what they usually do: cats lounge around and doze, and sheep graze.

“On the ground there is very little vegetation at this time of year” so the vines “act as a very good fire wall”, said Eric Herve, an enologist from ETS Laboratories, one of the biggest wine analysis firms in Napa.

Herve lives nearby, and he and his family have been lucky: they have not been forced to evacuate. But he said “it is stressful to sleep with one eye one open and be ready to leave at a moment’s notice”.

Napa is encircled by fires, said David Shew, a Cal Fire staff chief at a firefighting base camp not far from the Rocca winery.

Along Highway 121 from Napa to the Sonoma, also known for its wineries, there are also many vineyards that are practically intact while non-grape fields between them are charred black.

Sometimes the flames have touched vegetation at the edge of these fields before simply coming to a halt.

BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET

The view from above, in helicopters, is the same. Near shops, restaurants and homes that burned to the ground, patches of vineyards are still intact albeit with some signs of damage to the leaves.

Antoine Favero, a winemaker at Mazzocco Winery in Sonoma, took a tour around his land to assess the damage and said he has dodged disaster.

At other wineries, he said, “most of what I saw, most destruction, are the trees, the grass, the buildings. But the vines are not that affected”.

At the Paradise Ridge winery in Sonoma County, a building housing barrels and wine vats was destroyed by the fire. Some barrels remain, but there is no longer a roof over them.

There is nothing left either of what used to be a reception hall and a tasting room – but again, the feisty, resilient grape vines are still there.

However, the smoke from the fire may still have damaged them, and the loss of vineyard buildings could be a huge blow for smaller wineries, said Herve.

As the fires are still burning, it remains too early to estimate total damage to the region's vineyards, Herve added, popping a grape from one of the resilient plants into his mouth.

 

 

 

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

Comments Here:
Comments Left:
# Characters
Username:
Password:
E-mail:
Security:

Be the first to comment.

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
Finnish boy, 5, attacked by stray dogs at Ao Nang, Krabi

Why only dogs? Why not kill every animal that attacks humans,like that elephant from another article...(Read More)


Two nabbed smuggling kratom into Phuket

Kratom, so what? What is the big deal about it? Set it free, than there is no money business in it ...(Read More)


Taxi driver charged after collision with motorbike leaves man, 74, dead

Problem is RTP bull riding thinking. Like large oil spill, than charge the taxi-driver victim. Yes?...(Read More)


Phuket health officials, police unite to enforce Makha Bucha alcohol ban

A 5 day ban? Oh,really.OMG ! That would be catastrophic. Freedom to drink.24/7 Whenever/wherever.And...(Read More)


Finnish boy, 5, attacked by stray dogs at Ao Nang, Krabi

It’s been said time and time again that the stray dogs that roam thailand are a dangerous menace a...(Read More)


Finnish boy, 5, attacked by stray dogs at Ao Nang, Krabi

Do thai officials understand that packs of stray dogs are very dangerous, sterilized/vaccinated or n...(Read More)


Italian tourist gored as trekking elephant goes wild

Well, most tourist don't know that a elephant back is not strong. And they not know that a male ...(Read More)


Phuket health officials, police unite to enforce Makha Bucha alcohol ban

Dek, not only tourists and expats. Thai families too. Don't you notice these days many thai peo...(Read More)


Interpol Red Notice sought for Greek suspect over Phuket beautician murder

Red bull boy is excused until 'his' killings expire. Different class, different justice in ...(Read More)


Taxi driver charged after collision with motorbike leaves man, 74, dead

This is ridiculous - from the article the taxi clearly has right of way and the bike should have sto...(Read More)