Tuesday 1 July 2008

California's Wine Country Open for Business

Wine Country, Calif. — California's wine country is open for business.

The lightning-induced wildfires are affecting less then one-half of one percent of the 5-million acre wine country.

Northern California's wine country encompasses over 7,763 square miles, or 4,968,320 acres.

"All of the 258 wineries in Sonoma County are open for business," said Ken Fischang, CEO and president of the Sonoma County Tourism Bureau. " Napa and Lake Counties are reporting the same."

"We are pleased to report that the Napa Valley is unaffected by fires in the surrounding areas. The "Wild Horse" fire in Napa County's back country has been fully contained as of Wednesday morning" said David Turgeon, Interim Executive Director of the Napa Valley Conference and Visitors Bureau. "Our roads, wineries, tasting rooms, hotels, restaurants, spas, retail stores and attractions are open and ready to welcome guests!"

In Mendocino County, businesses are open.

"All of our lodging outlets are open and the air quality at the coast is good," said Scott Schneider, Executive Director of the Mendocino County Lodging Association, "We also have confirmation that most of our businesses are open, as are Routes 128 and 20 and 101 and 1 through our beautiful county."

The hotels and visitor attractions remain open, including the miles of rugged ocean coastline, the wild rivers, and quaint small towns and villages that dot the countryside.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) is actively working to contain the fires. They report on their website "State and Federal firefighters continue to battle hundreds of wildfires throughout Northern California. Priority of firefighting effort is for the protection of life, property and natural resources."

The San Francisco Bay Area Air Quality Management District has recommended that visitors with respiratory issues limit outdoor activities. Air quality in certain areas at certain times may be affected by haze. The best place to check for updates on Bay Area air quality is

According to the California Coastal Commission's website, fires are a normal part of California's natural cycle of the seasons, with several native trees and grasses relying on fires to renew the soil, clear dead materials, open up seedbanks, and release nutrients back to the environment.

More information about Northern California's Wine Country can be found at the following websites:

Lake County:; 800-525-3743
Mendocino County:; 866-466-3636
Napa County:; 707-226-5813
Sonoma County:; 800-576-6662

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