In October 2017, several large wildfires created a true disaster for many folks in Sonoma, Napa, Lake and Mendocino. We felt the pain of loss of life and property, the damage to our natural landscape, and the fear for our community. Many wildlands were scorched, some neighborhoods were destroyed, some 40 people perished.
While the disaster was immense, we also felt our community work together, instantly providing for each other, opening homes to strangers, and sharing strength and purpose.
Now, January 2018, we look into a New Year, with hope and concern, on how to help some rebuild, to support our friends and neighbors in their loss, and still share our space in this very beautiful part of the world.
We believe that 'working together' will be the key to this new year. With so many issues, people and businesses, public and private groups all need to expand on teamwork in 2018. We believe in focusing on our strengths and help where best we can.
One big challenge: visits to Sonoma and Napa have dropped substantially since the fires.
Wine COUNTRY VISITS
Sonoma County is very blessed with natural beauty, wide open spaces, and people who enjoy a whole range of activities. Wineries, parks, and beautiful vistas are part of the charm. Many visit here from the Bay Area and around the world. Many businesses now serve these visitors - hotels, shops, restaurants and more.
Sonoma Wine Shop is a small part of the hospitality sector here in Sonoma County. We have entertained many thousands of visitors over the past 40 years. We have several thousand local club members plus several thousand out of area. We would like to reassure our members and visitors that Sonoma County and the whole Wine Country are ready to have visitors, post-fire.
The public perception after the fire of the whole county burned down. This view is false, but has significantly reduced visitors.
People are also concerned that they may be intruding as outsiders. We are already engaging many in conversations about the fires, the vineyards, the friends who lost homes. These conversations are part of mutual support.
Now that the rains have come, and our grass hillsides are greening up, we would like to invite wine lovers to return, to revisit the beautiful towns and valleys. You will be welcome here. While some areas are damaged, the vast majority of the North Bay was spared.
We are asking our neighboring businesses to work together, to reach out to their loyal fans and customers, and invite them to visit us on beautiful Sonoma Plaza. When they are here, they would also visit our neighbors, finding those special businesses, tasting rooms, restaurants, shops, parks and more to enjoy. To promote these visits, we are creating 'Wine Club Journey', a mutual wine club membership, providing club benefits at all participating wineries.
SHARE YOUR journey
Our mutual fans come, visit, explore new wineries & venues. share their positive experience with their own friends, we can get the word out again about our beautiful Wine Country, and we can continue helping each other rebuild. Let's make 2018 a year where we stayed strong, continue to support each other through fundraising and more, and also showed the neighborly spirit of the Wine Country to each other AND to our many fans and customers .