(Monterey, CA) September 21, 2015 – As of the most recent update at 12:30PM Monday afternoon, the Tassajara Fire has burned 1200 acres in the Cachagua/Carmel Valley region and stands at 30% containment. Multiple Carmel Valley wineries and vineyards are in the direct vicinity of the fire, fortunately none are reporting significant damage at this time.
Industry employees that were not evacuated have been on the scene since the fire began Saturday, not only preparing should the fire expand, but assisting their community with resources and man power. Vineyard reservoirs have also been tapped as a source of water for fire-fighting efforts.
“The safety of our neighbors is now our primary concern. We’re providing water, feeding people and have become a safe haven for rescued animals,” says Matt Shea of Bernardus. Jack Galante of Galante Vineyards has also been taking in animals transported from the fire zone, offering up paddock space and hay.
Even though Monterey County had an early grape harvest, there are still grapes on the vine. John Boekenoogen from Boekenoogen Winery relayed, “Thankfully with the position of southeasterly winds, we (along with others) expect to avoid smoke taint.” Active harvesting and crush processes have also been slowed or halted with lack of electricity, some are operating on generators. PG&E is working closely with local wine businesses to restore power, irrigation and winery operations as soon as possible.
All wine industry members surveyed expressed their gratitude for the fire service members working long hours in the intense heat, as they’ve prevented the fire from infringing on vineyard properties. Matt Shea, Vineyard Manager for Bernardus, echoed those sentiments, “We couldn’t have protected the winery without the amazing coordination of CalFire air attack, ground crews and strike teams, in addition to the commitment of the local Cachagua Fire volunteers.”
Vineyards located in the region include Bernardus, Boekenoogen, Galante, Georis, Heller, Joullian, Rombi and Silvestri. For official fire updates and evacuation orders, visit the CalFire Incident Information site: http://cdfdata.fire.ca.gov/incidents.