Bottles sucked dry of wine among charred wildfire remains

Flames continue to smolder at the Signorello Estate winery Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017, in Napa, Calif. Worried California vintners surveyed the damage to their vineyards and wineries Tuesday after wildfires swept through several counties whose famous names have become synonymous with fine food and drink. (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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