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How to Help Victims of California’s Devastating Wildfires

California has been devastated by wildfires. Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images

The California wildfires have burned thousands of acres, forcing 100,000 people to evacuate and destroying 5,700 homes and buildings. One reporter described evacuated areas as looking “like a country at war.” Many people are now without homes, or have their seen their livelihoods — farms and wineries they own or work on — destroyed. At last count, 23 wineries, vineyards, and wine stocks in Napa, Sonoma, and Mendocino Counties were seriously damaged, while farmers lost barns, homes, and land. Chefs in San Francisco and the Bay Area have responded by doing what they do best. Richie Nakano has been cooking for affected people and using his Twitter platform to connect with those who can help; Chris Cosentino’s Acacia House is offering free meals to first responders and displaced locals; and Traci Des Jardins, Ravi Kapur, and other chefs have banded together to form SF Fights Fire. The wine community has also come together to raise funds for organizations helping those in need, through both benefits and by donating sales. Below, see how you can help.

New York

Corkbuzz Wine Tasting
Where: Corkbuzz
When: October 27, 2017, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET
How Much: $50, tickets here
This is one of three (and the only on the East Coast) events being put on by Winemakers & Sommelier’s For California Wildfire Relief, all of which will benefit CA Wine Strong, the Napa Valley Community Foundation, and the Redwood Credit Union North Bay Fire Relief. Corkbuzz’s Laura Maniec, Altamarea Restaurant Group wine director Hristo Zisovksi, R Squared Selections owner Ryan Mills-Knapp, Rebelle head sommelier Kim Prokoshyn, and others will pour California wines. There will also be an auction with bottles donated by sommeliers and collectors.

Northern California Wildfire Relief Fundraiser
Where: LIC Market
When: First seating from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. ET, second seating from 8:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
How Much: $110, tickets here
Dirty & Rowdy Family Winery donated wines to this three-course dinner hosted by importer Jenny & François Selections and the LIC Market. Proceeds will go toward the Sonoma County Resilience Fund, Napa Valley Community Foundation, and Community Foundation of Mendocino County.

A Music & Wine Tasting Experience to Support Fire Relief in Napa & Sonoma
Where: 555TEN Rooftop Lounge
When: October 19, 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET
How Much: $70 to $85, tickets here
The rooftop pair will host musicians Shira Averbuch, Kala Maxym, and Dan Nadel, with “performance-paired” wines from Vinfluence, welcome Champagne, and fancy chocolate. All proceeds will benefit the Napa Valley Community Disaster Relief Fund and Rebuild Wine Country.


Bergamot Alley Wine Tasting and Fête
Where: Bergamot Alley in Healdsburg
When: October 25, 7 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. PT
How Much: $50, tickets here
For this Winemakers & Sommelier’s For California Wildfire Relief event, Rebelle sommelier Patrick Cappiello has created a list of rare and collectible wines for purchase. There will be food from SingleThread Farms and local wine from Rootdown Wines, Ryme Wines, and others, and an after-hours dance party. All funds go to CA Wine Strong, the Napa Valley Community Foundation, and the Redwood Credit Union North Bay Fire Relief.

Elevated Wildfire Benefit
Where: Medlock Ames at Alexander Valley Bar in Healdsburg, California
When: October 25, 7 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. PT
How Much: $50, tickets here
There will be wood-fired pizza, oysters, and wine from local wineries at this benefit for the California Growers Association and Rebuild Wine Country. Among others, AldenAlli Winery, Arista Winery, Russian River Organics, and Cajun Caviar donated to the event.

Bluxome Street Wine Tasting and Auction
Where: Bluxome Street Winery
When: October 26, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. PT
How Much: $100, tickets here
The third Winemakers & Sommelier’s For California Wildfire Relief also features a list of rare and collectible wines for sale, as well as complimentary food and wine. There will be a silent auction for luxury wines, music memorabilia, and tasting experiences. Participating restaurants include Charlie Palmer’s Burritt Room and Tavern and Saison, while Jolie-Laide Wines and others will provide drinks.

Charles R. Vineyards
Where: Charles R. Vineyards, 8195 Crane Ridge Road, Livermore, California
When: Through October 31
How Much: Whatever you buy
Through the end of October, the winery will donate 10 percent of net sales. Wines can be purchased at its tasting room, where they are also accepting funds and donated items.


Winemakers & Sommelier’s For California Wildfire Relief
Rebelle’s Cappiello, Sarah Morgenstern, and Pax Mahle created this group to bring together wine professionals and fanatics in support of those affected by the devastating fires. Along with the three events they’re organizing, they’re accepting donations of wines from collectors, sommeliers, and distributors. Donations can be made on the East Coast to Manhattan Wine Company (email regarding shipping) and on the West Coast to Somm Picks (email about shipping).

Grassini Winery
Through November 15, the Santa Barbara winemaker will donate $1 for every bottle of wine it sells to the Direct Relief fund.

Flying Goat Winery
The Santa Barbara County winery will donate $10 to Direct Relief for every bottle of Pinot Noir Salisbury Vineyard 2011 ($38) sold through October 31.

Hall Wines
South St. Helena vineyard Hall Wines has set up a donation drive for Redwood Credit Union’s North Bay Fire Relief Fund, and will match every dollar donated up to $100,000.

Concannon Vineyard
One dollar will be donated from every bottle purchased at both its California winery and online store through the end of October.

Doubleback Winery
Through October 21, former NFL quarterback Drew Bledsoe’s winery will donate 100 percent of its sales to the Napa Valley Community Foundation Disaster Relief Fund. Wines can be purchased online.

How to Help Victims of California’s Devastating Wildfires