What to expect when visiting Sonoma County after the Fires
Many travelers are wondering what to expect when visiting Sonoma County after the October 2019 wildfires.
While devastating, only 8% of Sonoma County's 1 million acres was impacted by the October 2019 fires. Of the more than 90 percent of Sonoma County not affected by the wildfires, you'll find vineyards, nature and history parks, beautiful vistas, oak-studded hills, a dramatic Pacific coastline, and towering redwoods.
Here's what to expect when visiting Sonoma County after the fires:
1. More than 425 wineries are open for you
Two winery tasting rooms were damaged by the fires. But, with over hundreds of wineries countywide, you've got a lot of options to check out. Here are a few wineries we recommend for first-time visitors, and some of the top California wine tours in Sonoma County.
Soda Rock Winery lost its tasting room. Much of Soda Rock’s wine storage is offsite, so there was little damage to inventory. As part of Wilson Artisan Wineries, Soda Rock wines can be purchased online or at other Wilson wineries.
The Spire Collection at Field Stone Vineyard sustained damage to the winery and barn. They are still hosting guests and accepting appointments at their tasting room in Calistoga, www.membershipbyspire.com.
If you aren't into wine we still have more than 40 breweries, distilleries and cider houses open as well.
2. There are a lot of places to lay your head
We have hundreds of hotels, inns, B&Bs, campgrounds, and vacation rentals and all manner of unique places to spend the night in Sonoma County, and they are open.
No hotels were lost in the fire. You have many great options for where to stay when visiting Sonoma County.
3. It's a great time to visit
Sonoma County is open for business, from the Sonoma Valley to the Sonoma Coast, and from Petaluma to Cloverdale. There are a variety of events and festivals year round, making now a perfect time to explore the region and enjoy quiet tasting rooms, beautiful redwood forests, and gorgeous beaches.
Visiting now supports the thousands of local residents who work in the hospitality industry, and fuels our local economy. Interesting fact: Did you know that 85 percent of our tourism businesses are locally owned?
When you visit Sonoma County, you support Sonoma County families.
4. Very few vineyard acres were affected
More than 60,000 total acres planted to grapes and very few are reported to be damaged. An accurate accounting will be updated when that information is available. Sonoma County itself is one million acres in size. Grape vines are resilient and acted as natural firebreaks, not only surviving, but helping to slow and stop the spread of wildfires.
5. The 2019 harvest was nearly complete
The 2019 winegrape harvest was 92 percent complete at the onset of the fires, while an additional 3% was harvested before evacuations took place.
Vintners have a positive outlook about the 2019 wines and are committed to only releasing the high-quality wines that Sonoma County wine enthusiasts have come to know and love.
Sonoma County's welcoming and picturesque communities are all still here.
Come see for yourself. And tell your friends. When visiting, please take photos of the clear skies, beautiful vineyards, groves of redwood trees, pristine Pacific coastline, and rolling oak-studded hills. Then post the photos to your social media channels with the tag #GatherInSonoma.