The Kincade Fire and Power Outages

This last few months have been wild around here but we all survived and we are so thankful for the hard working men and women who saved our towns!

We thought we would share a few thoughts from our Vineyard Manager and our Winemaker on how they dealt with the outages and fire, and how they feel Trione fared as well as the aftermath.

Kincade Fire images at Trione Winery

Kincade Fire images at Trione Winery

A note from Kris, Vineyard Operations Manager 

The 2019 Harvest had its ups and downs.  We started in late August with the Russian River Pinot Noir and Chardonnay for Sparkling and finished up with  some Alexander Valley Cabernet the first week of November.  Overall the harvest was a success.  Yields were right on target to be average to just over.  The weather all summer through September was great for ripening and overall quality of the grapes.  We haven’t had a rain free with moderate temperature harvest season for a number of years.  It was all going extremely smooth without anything real alarming  with nothing too exciting in the forecast.  Then October hit…

October was challenging to say the least for Sonoma County.  We had frost spread out all over Sonoma County, power outages and the Kincade fire combined with more power outages.  The long term effects of the Kincade fire are yet to be determined.  Geyserville and the heart of Alexander Valley was hit pretty hard.  ViMark/Trione properties and the grapes as a whole were not directly affected by the fire.  We had no power or access to a number of properties but managed to stay out of the burn zone.   99% of the Trione Grape Harvest was complete by the time the Kincade fire broke out.  You can run it by Scot but I don’t feel that it will have any lasting effect on the Trione Harvest.  Other wineries and growers were not so lucky.  I don’t know what the overall acreage and extent of the damage.  I do know a number of homes, wineries, vineyards and people in  community were affected.

To sum it up, 2019 Harvest was not perfect but we are still here and getting work done .  Don’t let all bad define the year or eliminate the good.  We had a successful year and the farming season for 2020 is already under way.

I just want to say that the Wildland guys are awesome and some of the toughest men and women around!!  If they need a dozer operator, I am available.  😀.  I am sure Justin will we more than happy to help also.    Thank you to all the Fire Fighters, Law Enforcement, First Responders, California Army National Guard, Volunteers and anyone that was involved with the efforts to contain the fire and keep the community safe.



A note from Scot, Winemaker 

It is mid-November and we have barreled down most of the 2019 vintage. It certainly will go down as one of the most challenging vintages in recent memory, mainly due to the Kincade fire and the power outage. In the cellar we have the Petite Sirah still in tank fermenting. It was the fruit that was still hanging during the fires. We managed to bring it in and get it before any smoke taint issues developed. During processing we let the juice that normally collects in the juice pan go down the drain and not into the crushed fruit, hoping that this would wash any residue from the skins. This seemed to work as the wine is smelling and tasting great. The other wine in fermenters is the extra Flatridge Zin we brought in. The vineyard was safe from any smoke so those tanks are tasting great. We are sighing a sigh of relief that the harvest is behind us although there still remains many things keeping us busy. We are now turning our attention to the Fall bottling in December when we bottle the Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Block 21 Cabernet Sauvignon. It is never a dull moment at Trione!

-Cheers, Scot

The view of the fire on the hills behind Trione winery.


Kincade Fire images at Trione Winery