A group of Paso Robles-area wineries will donate $1 for every bottle sold through the end of the month to help those affected by the devastating fires in Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino counties.
The effort, coordinated by the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance, represents one way the local wine community is rallying around its neighbors to the north.
The wine alliance and the SLO Wine Country Association are also coordinating with other regional wine associations around the state to offer goods, services and lodging to wine-industry workers affected by the fires, with many details still being worked out.
The Station wine shop in San Luis Obispo is also working on a campaign to bring the community together to help.
A continually updated list of wineries participating in the donation program can be found at www.pasowine.com/consumer_events/wildfire_relief/, featuring about two dozen wineries as of mid-day Wednesday.
At the end of the month, the funds from wine sales will be donated to three organizations working to help the stricken communities:
- Napa Valley Community Foundation’s Disaster Relief Fund
- Community Foundation of Sonoma County’s Resilience Fund
- Community Foundation of Mendocino County
Granada Hotel & Bistro will donate 50 percent of the sales of bottles of Northern California wines straight to those affected through gift cards and other direct methods, as well as 10 percent of bottles sold at The Station wine shop, from Oct. 15-31.
The two locations also will serve as drop-off locations for donations of supplies, which they’ll deliver to affected areas. Baby food, pet food, blankets, pillows, toiletries and phone chargers are most in need, organizers note.
Fundraising events are also being planned for both locations, though details have not yet been worked out.
A GoFundMe campaign called NorCAL Fire Relief from SLO County has been launched on behalf of many businesses, wineries, resorts and restaurants in the area by Parker Sanpei. Donations will be split equally between the same three organizations the Paso Wine campaign is benefiting.
The SLO Wine group has added a #CAWineStrong page to its website to help amplify other efforts and list ways supporters can contribute through member wineries.
“In times like these, we are all neighbors,” said SLO Wine Executive Director Heather Muran. “In that spirit, the SLO Wine Country Association is mobilizing its members to help provide immediate relief and supplies to those in need.”
Some individual wineries, such as Bella Luna Estate Winery, put out offers of help on social media for everything from equipment to trucks to a place to crash, while many expressed their sympathies.
Jean Hoefliger — winemaker at Robin Baggett’s Alpha Omega Winery in Napa as well as consulting winemaker at its sister winery in Edna Valley, Tolosa Winery — told Wines and Vines that the fear is not for the vintage, but for those affected by the fires. “The tragedy is about people, and I think right now it’s about helping and saving people,” he said.