On August 19th, 2020, we heard the order to evacuate from emergency helicopters circling overhead. We received word on August 22nd that the CZU Lightning Complex Fires had reached our property from three different directions and the losses were considerable.
Our winery has been miraculously spared, but our estate vineyard has been badly scorched. The home that our founder Bradley Brown built from the redwoods growing on our property—a favorite gathering spot for our club members—has burned to the ground.
The surrounding forest suffered badly and our vineyard storage buildings, fencing, and irrigation systems have been destroyed. While insurance will cover material losses, crop insurance is not available in our area. We lost our entire 2020 Estate vintage, which accounts for more than half of our annual income. Fortunately, we were still able to vinify the fruit harvested from our partner vineyards.
We have been moved by the numerous messages of concern and support we have received from our customers. You have been asking how you can help, and in response, Bradley’s sister Wendy has set up a GoFundMe campaign to enable us rebuild and replant what we have lost, beyond what can be covered by insurance.
We thank you in advance for whatever support you are able to give. This location has been an active site for grape vines since the early 1900s, and we will continue to be conscientious and passionate stewards of this unique island of beauty and bounty. We look forward to sharing this special location and our wines with you in the future.
Aid our Wildfire-Ravaged Community
This year has been unprecedented in the difficulties faced by our communities. The damage wrought by the CZU and SCU Lightning Complex Fires has been extensive and comes at a time when many people and businesses were already facing economic hardships due to the global pandemic. We can only get through these events together. Please, support our community as much as you are able to.
Support Struggling Vineyards
Buy wine from local wineries and vineyards, almost all of whom have been impacted in some way by these fires. Visit Wines of the Santa Cruz Mountains to learn more.