The skies were blue and smoke has cleared across California’s Napa Valley as hundreds of wineries opened their doors back to customers following a series of fires that threatened that valley.
John Winkelhaus is the executive vice president of V. Sattui Winery in St. Helena, California.
He says tourists fled the heart of California’s Wine country when reports of fires in wine country.
Seven of Napa Valley’s nearly 500 wineries were damaged or destroyed in the ensuing fires, Winkelhaus said. Danica Sattui is a waitress and niece of the Winery’s owner, said she lost out on a weeks pay.
When she returned to work, there wasn’t much to do because not many people were showing up.
Winkelhaus said Friday’s attendance was 25 percent of the same time last year or just 120 visitors this year compared to more than 600 visitors in 2016.
"The valley's open, the hotels are back open, the restaurants are back open and what we need is people to see the beauty of harvest,” Winkelhaus said.
The majority of the winery’s in the valley have reopened after the threat of fire is gone and the smoke cleared. The businesses in the area are inviting people to come out and enjoy themselves.
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