Glass Fire: Drive down Highway 29 shows damage to historic Napa County wineries

Wednesday, September 30, 2020
Drive down Hwy 29 shows fire damage to historic Napa Co. wineries
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Just like you've probably done if you've visited any of the famous Napa Valley wineries, ABC7 News anchor Eric Thomas took a drive down Highway 29 and Silverado Trail in Napa County. Here's what he saw.

CALISTOGA, Calif. (KGO) -- The Glass Fire burning in the North Bay has forced thousands to evacuate, destroyed more than a hundred homes and has devastated parts of the wine industry in Napa Valley.

Just like you've probably done if you've visited any of the famous wineries there, ABC7 News anchor Eric Thomas took a drive down Highway 29 and Silverado Trail in Napa County on Tuesday.

RELATED: Michelin-starred restaurant at Meadowood destroyed by Glass Fire

Here's what he saw.

Our tour along Highway 29 began about two miles south of Calistoga, where a finger of fire on the west side of the road burned downslope to within a few feet of the road surface.

No lives were threatened, but it was a potent reminder.

Less than a mile farther south we took a quick look at the historic Bale Grist Mill State Park.

It's centered around a mill built back in the 1840s where Napa Valley residents used to bring grain to be crushed into flour or meal.

The Glass Fire got uncomfortably close but didn't appear to cause any damage.

VIDEO: Parts of famed Castello di Amorosa Winery destroyed in Glass Fire

Next, we took Route 29 north into the heart of Calistoga.

The tourist area downtown would normally be bustling this time of year, but unfortunately due to the fire's proximity, it was almost a ghost town.

However, it led us to Dunaweal Lane, home to several vineyards.

At Sterling Vineyards, the main building wasn't touched, but some of the surroundings were damaged.

PHOTOS: North Bay wildfires ravage California's wine country

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Firefighters from the Sacramento Fire Department work to contain the Glass Fire in Napa County on Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020 in Deer Park, California.
Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Equipment near the pad used for crushing grapes was heavily damaged, including a truck hauling hundreds of plastic goblets that were destroyed by fire; it's cargo melted into a huge glob.

Finally, we stopped at Fairwinds Estates Winery, a fixture since 1969.

The visitor's center burned to the ground, only the fireplace left standing.

There was also major damage to the main building and tasting room.

Thankfully no one was hurt in any of the areas we toured.

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