News and culture through the lens of Southern California.
Hosted by A Martínez
Airs Weekdays 9 to 10 a.m.

Fire claimed this Napa winery but the owner is already planning to rebuild




A building burns at the Signorello estate.
A building burns at the Signorello estate.
Used with permission from Signorello Estates
A building burns at the Signorello estate.
All that remains of a building that burned at Signorello Estates.
Used with permission from Signorello Estates


Listen to story

05:34
Download this story 8.0MB

In Northern California, wildfires have burned hundreds of thousands of acres.

Thirty one people have died. Many more are missing. 

Thousands of homes and businesses have been destroyed. And that's dealt a black eye to those living and operating in wine country. 

The Signorello Estate is a winery in the eastern Napa Valley hills. It was one of about 20 vineyards that were damaged.

Its owner, Ray Signorello Jr. spoke to Take Two.

Ray's reaction

I've had a few days to process it. I saw the pictures. The first thing is shock, and then you get into the — you know, it's almost like: 'Did this really just happen?'

I got to the property yesterday. I had my first chance to get on the property and take a look. The damage is extensive. The building's gone. But there are some silver linings in there. 

I didn't sleep Sunday night — Monday morning — thinking, 'what about the vineyards? What about the barreled wine? What about the wines that were in the tank on the crush pad?' Because that's really the future. Thankfully, it looks like, if not all the vineyards, just about 99.9 percent of it are intact. 

When he realized the fire could mean trouble for the estate

I got the call from my wife on Sunday night at 10:45. She was frantic. I didn't quite know what that meant. I was asleep. I was out of town. Fortunately, I had my two young daughters with me — they're four and six years old. They weren't on the property, but my wife was on the property. 

We've had fires in the area before, but she kept saying, 'No, no, this is different. It's a massive fire, and it's racing towards us.' 

I phoned my winemaker who lives in St. Helena, and he got up and looked out of his home and saw the hillside on fire, even from where he was and told me 'this looks like something different.'

He raced down there with my team. They fought the fire as best they could with the equipment we had, which was no match for the fire. 

Press the blue play button above to hear what Ray Signorello Jr. plans to do next. 

Answers have been edited for clarity.