I am writing you from Napa to let you know that we are safe and sound at Villa Murialdo. The air quality today and yesterday has vastly improved. It was blue skies and 80 degrees both days with only a faint smell of smoke in the air. I did not witness many folks even wearing the fashion-wise N95 masks the past two days. As you know the restaurants, wine bars and sidewalks would ordinarily be full of people. Walking around town the streets were strangely deserted as caravans of Cal Fire trucks rolled past and first responders on their breaks mingled in town with locals. Signs are posted in merchant windows expressing thanks for the great work these folks are doing. I stopped five young firefighters myself to do the same. For the first time in a week there was the feeling that things had turned the corner. Winemakers are working hard to collect the last of the grapes for harvest and soon I am told many wineries and tasting rooms will re-open. There is in fact a welcome rain in the forecast for this coming Thursday to uplift the sprits.
Still there is much concern for the lives lost and homes and businesses destroyed. The Sonoma Valley and Santa Rosa in particular have been hit very hard. We have family and friends greatly affected by this tragedy. Silverado was also hit very hard. Our hearts go out to everyone displaced or injured and all those who have missing or lost loved ones. The tremendous outpouring of public support has been remarkable. Life goes on and the resilient people of both Sonoma and Napa Valleys will find ways to pick up the pieces. Fortunately the fires in Napa Valley never reached downtown areas of Napa, St. Helena, Yountville, Angwin or Calistoga nor the majority of 500 wineries and I am happy to report the fire lines are holding in the areas to the east and west of us. Containment on the Atlas Peak Fire, the Tubbs Fire and the Nun’s fire are now reaching the 50%’s.
September and October harvest is normally the most popular time of year to visit but the Valley is beautiful all year round. The crush of grapes will soon scent the air replacing the acrid smoke as the vineyard canopies turn reddish brown and fermentation turns the harvest to wine. Many have asked how to help and I would ask you to consider making plans to visit again. We would love to have you. If you have a reservation with us in the coming days and weeks stay in touch with us. We are posting daily on Facebook. The situation is steadily improving. Local officials are expecting this week to bring a “new normal” to Napa. Thanks for all your support.