Bottles sucked dry of wine among charred wildfire remains

A fire truck makes its way through the Chateau St. Jean winery, Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017, in Kenwood, Calif. Workers in Northern California's renowned wine country picked through charred debris and weighed what to do with pricey grapes after wildfires swept through lush vineyards and destroyed at least two wineries and damaged many others. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Worried California vintners assess damage of destructive wildfires

NAPA, Calif. — Metal racks sagging with dozens of blackened bottles were among the smoldering remains of a Napa Valley winery destroyed by wildfires that raced through a region famous for its fine food and drink.

Throughout Northern California's wine country, vintners able to get to property surveyed the damage to vineyards, tasting rooms and storage while others had to wait for flames to die down.

Speedy, wind-driven wildfires that started Sunday came as workers in Napa and Sonoma counties were picking and processing ripe grapes to make chardonnay, merlot and other wines that have made the region a global hot spot.

The Napa Valley Vintners trade association says at least five wineries belonging to members have had "complete losses" in facilities, with another nine reporting some damage.

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