Napa tasting room opens doors, aims for 'normalcy' in wake of North Bay fires

NAPA, Calif. (KGO) -- The iconic Napa Valley sign framed firefighting efforts as the Nuns fire burned north Monday. Calfire choppers doused flames threatening the Staglin Family Vineyards in Rutherford.

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Shari Staglin says they've created their own fire break and have private water tenders. "We have been very vigilant and that's why we have people around our whole perimeters wetting everything down for three days. Because it's gotten closer and closer and it got especially close yesterday."

The Nuns Fire is expected to be fully contained Friday. At Hall Winery along Highway 29, people took off fire masks to taste. Visitor numbers are down significantly, but profit isn't the point says owner Kathryn Hall.

"Folks who work for us are getting paid anyway, but opening the tasting room is bringing some normalcy to life," said Hall.

All this month tasting room fees will be donated to fire relief efforts. The Halls say they've also participated in a fundraising effort where donations will be matched. They expect to raise $250,000 and say it's all through Redwood Credit Union. The bank does not charge fees for the charitable account.

The Halls say their colleagues, friends, and employees have been devastated by the fire and it's important for them to take care of locals first.

"Our hotel is full, but it's full of people who we are giving rooms to for free. If anybody has been displaced out of their house or lost a house we're taking them in. That's what people should do," said Craig Hall.

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The morning after a long night of protecting homes near Oakmont. Crews and gear standby. The nightmare is far from over for many in the North Bay after a week of historically bad wildfires.

But long term the region relies on tourism.

"We want people to know that it's safe to come and you will never be more welcome in Napa Valley than you are this week," said Kathryn Hall.

"Support the area. If you're a tourist come out, there's lots of great things to do, there's lots of great restaurants. Take advantage of the cancellations you can get the best restaurant in Napa valley right now," said Dawn Assencio, Yountville resident.

Click here for complete coverage of the North Bay fires.
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