Local vineyards looking to extend aid to CA wineries in wake of - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Local vineyards looking to extend aid to CA wineries in wake of fires

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BENTON CITY, WA - The wildfires burning in California's wine country hold a unique connection to our area, Washington wine country...and people working at our local wineries are keeping a close eye on the situation.

Reporter Rex Carlin spoke with two people involved with the wine industry today, who told him these fires are hitting people twice...threatening not only the wineries - which is the economy in that area - but also their homes and neighborhoods.

It's still very early in the process, but we're being told the area wineries are looking into how they can help the wineries down in the Napa area. But because the fires are still burning, it isn't completely clear what these wineries will need moving forward.

But once the damage down there is assessed, we're told our wineries will be ready to help.

"I know that some of the winemakers have already talked about the Red Mountain Alliance doing something for them down there," said Marshall Edwards, vineyard operation manager at Shaw Vineyards. "I'm not really sure what they need right now. There are wineries that are destroyed, there are vineyards that are probably damaged, there's all kinds of things. But, they're talking about trying to figure out if there's something that we can do up here as a group to help them down there."

Edwards tells us harvest in the Napa area is mostly finished for the year, so most of the effects of the wildfires from a wine perspective won't be felt until next year.