Top Myths About Sonoma County Post-Fires
SONOMA COUNTY, CALIFORNIA — Several months after the wildfires in Sonoma County were extinguished, myths and rumors rage on. Here are the top myths and the truthful answers.
Myth: All of the wineries in Sonoma County burned down.
Truth: Only one winery – Paradise Ridge Winery in Santa Rosa – was mostly destroyed. The winery has a tasting room in Kenwood, which is open to guests and will distribute Paradise Ridge wines. While the tasting room in Santa Rosa was affected, the popular sculpture garden and the famous “Love” statue survived. The Byck family, the owners of Paradise Ridge, are already planning on opening their grounds in the coming year for tastings and events.
Myth: All the hotels burned down and there’s no place to stay.
Truth: The Hilton Sonoma Wine Country and the Fountain Grove Inn, both in Santa Rosa’s Fountain Grove area, and America’s Best Value Inn & Suites on Hopper Avenue in Santa Rosa, were destroyed in the fires. However, Sonoma County is in the midst of a boom of hotel openings, with the Holiday Inn Windsor Wine Country, Oxford Inn & Suites (Rohnert Park), and the boutique Astro Hotel (Santa Rosa) recently opening and several other lodging properties are opening or expanding within the year. The number of rooms available in Sonoma County remains about the same, around 6,300.
Myth: Santa Rosa – and the majority of Sonoma County – burned down and the residents need time to recover before accepting visitors.
Truth: Sonoma County is open for business. January to May offers events and festivals and is a perfect time to explore the region and enjoy quiet tasting rooms, beautiful forests, and gorgeous beaches.. Find out more at www.sonomacounty.com/events. There are plenty of special offers and deals to be had as well – see them at www.sonomacounty.com/deals. Visiting now will support the thousands of local residents who work in the hospitality industry, 91 percent are locally owned. When you visit Sonoma County, you support Sonoma County residents.
Myth: All the vineyards in Sonoma County were burned.
Truth: Less than 100 vineyard acres were lost in the fires. Grape vines are resilient and acted as natural firebreaks, not only surviving, but helping to slow and stop the spread of wildfires. Only about 4 percent of Sonoma County’s vineyard acres were situated in fire zones.
Myth: The entire 2017 vintage of Sonoma County wines were lost in the wildfires.
Truth: The 2017 winegrape harvest was 90 percent complete prior to the onset of the fires and the wine was in the tanks. Smoke is not an issue for wine that is fermenting or has already been bottled. Area vintners have a positive outlook on the 2017 wines and are committed to only releasing quality wines that Sonoma County wine enthusiasts have come to know and love.
The majority of Sonoma County was undamaged. The fields are green, the wildflowers are blooming, and the welcoming communities are all still here. Find recent photos of Sonoma County on Instagram, www.instagram.com/sonomacounty.
Sonoma County, located 30 miles north of San Francisco, provides a genuine and adventurous Wine Country experience, featuring more than 425 wineries, 100-plus organic farms, acclaimed restaurants, a thriving arts community, and 50-plus miles of stunning Pacific coast.
For a free visitors guide or information on hotels, wineries, events, spas, attractions, and dining in Sonoma County, visit www.sonomacounty.com or call 707-522-5800 or 800-576-6662.