A new federal report reveals just how badly North Coast winegrape growers were hurt by last year's wildfires.
Agriculture Department data shows the fires wiped out almost half the value of their 2020 crop. It totaled just $940 million over the Napa, Sonoma, Lake and Mendocino County region. That compares to $1.7 billion in 2019 and a record $2 billion in 2018. Smoke and heat damage ruined about a third of the grapes, especially red varietals that were still on the vines when the worst of the fires hit in August and September. On the bright side, industry analysts say the lower volume could help clear the grape glut created by four years of bumper crops.