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A letter to the grape-growing community

Posted on October 3, 2018 by Sonoma Valley Sun

As we near the one-year anniversary of the firestorms that devastated our community last October, I wanted to reach out with a personal message.  It is hard for many of us to imagine or even comprehend the changes to our Sonoma County community over the past year, however, as harvest began in late August/early September, I appreciated the sense of normalcy that mother nature brings us once a year when our grapes get ripe and our winemakers go to work crafting world class wines from your year of effort.

Yes, neighborhoods look different, favorite restaurant spots are gone, and many in our community are still struggling to find new homes and simpler times without contractors, insurance agencies and almost daily replacement of something that was lost. However, I hope that instead of focusing on this loss, we use it to motivate a continued kindness, patience and absolute zeal for life and the blessing of being able to wake up each morning and embrace the day.

I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you for allowing me to represent you and our incredible grape growing community. I love this job. I appreciate the passion, integrity, hard work and tenacity that you all embody in preserving our local agriculture and how much you give back in time and resources to our Sonoma County community. You are the heart of the beloved place we get to call home.

As the weekend approaches, some of you may get questions from other community members or friends and family, so the link below provides some fast facts on the real impact of the fires last year on our vineyards and wine community. We are so fortunate that our vineyards were natural fire breaks, slowing or stopping the fires and saving structures.

So, on this unfortunate anniversary, let’s continue to move forward together. Let’s continue to support each other. Let’s make every day count.

– Karissa Kruse, president of Sonoma County Winegrowers



One thought on “A letter to the grape-growing community

  1. If the wine growers are taking credit for creating ‘firebreaks’ that helped save the community, then the answer to preventing more wildfires is simple: Get rid of all those annoying trees and bushes that cover the hills and valley’s and that keep catching fire, and replace them with more fire-breaking vineyards that not only stop wildfires but just happen to put more profits into millionaire winegrower pockets. With a good plan for finally clear-cutting the hills and valleys to rid them of natural habitat, the county will look like Iowa without the corn, and like Iowa, we won’t have any more wildfires. Problem solved.

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