A Boiling "Wine River" Is Flowing Under California’s Wine Country, Where Hotels and Vineyards Smolder

A Boiling "Wine River" Is Flowing Under California’s Wine Country, Where Hotels and Vineyards Smolder

Napa and Sonoma counties are under a state of emergency.

By Adele Chapin

Wine country in Northern California draws tourists from all over the world thanks to its world-class wine, farm-to-table food, and stunning views of rolling hills and redwoods. But the images coming out of Napa and Sonoma County are absolutely terrifying this week, as fires rage across Northern California.

At least 17 people have died, the LA Times reports, and fires destroyed at least 1,500 structures. 

Wineries and hotels are included in the wreckage, and vineyards burned to the ground. At Paradise Ridge Winery in Santa Rosa, charred wine barrels led to a surreal scene as a "river of wine" boiled under all the debris, according to The Daily Mail. Both Paradise Ridge Winery and Signorello Estates are reported to have been destroyed. The Fountaingrove Inn and Hilton Sonoma Wine Country in Santa Rosa also burned to the ground. 

“That was my dream,” Fountaingrove Inn owner Angelo Ferro told The Mercury News. “It’s gone. Everything is gone.”

Here's more snapshots of what some spots of Northern California's wine country landscape look like now:

The total extent of the damage is unknown — and still developing — but obviously this is horrible news for the winery owners and hoteliers who rely on tourism, and anyone who dreams of a trip to Napa and Sonoma. Wine drinkers will probably feel the impact of the fires too, since California produces about 85 percent of U.S. wine, according to MarketWatch.

Northern California isn't alone in dealing with fires: a blaze raging near Anaheim led to out-of-this-world images coming out of Disneyland this week, with Disney rides silhouetted against a creepy orange sky.

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