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Napa wine industry assesses damage to wineries and grape crop

NAPA, Calif. — As the wildfires that have ravaged Napa since Sunday night continued to burn Wednesday, a tally of the destruction wrought on the local wine industry grew.

Two of the three farmworker housing centers in the valley had been evacuated, while the status of one center located on Silverado Trail near several damaged wineries remained unknown.

The Napa Valley Vintners trade group added to the number of member wineries that have been damaged, bringing the total on Wednesday morning to five physical wineries that had suffered total or very significant losses. The group had received responses from at least 120 of its more than 500 members, but had yet to hear from “about a dozen” of its members in the most at-risk areas near the Atlas Peak, Tubbs and Partrick fires.

Of those who had responded to the group, 11 had reported damage to their vineyards, wineries or other buildings on their properties.

A complete roster of those affected was not immediately available, but vintners and wineries in at-risk areas continued to take to social media with updates. Others recounted having to evacuate their homes, like many of the county’s residents.

Mayacamas Vineyards, the historic winery on Lokoya Road in the evacuated Mount Veeder area, wrote in a Facebook post Tuesday afternoon that “the winery is safe so far, but we have serious concerns about two wildfires to our West.”

A representative of Segassia Vineyard on Mount Veeder Road reported Wednesday via email that the property’s team had been evacuated and was safe, "but the fruit remains to dehydrate on the vines, during prime harvest season. Right now, what has not been destroyed will be lost.”

The vineyard provides the cabernet sauvignon grapes for the acclaimed Segassia Vineyard cabernet from HALL wines.

Miljenko “Mike” Grgich, 94, said he was awakened at his home in the northeast hills of Calistoga in the middle of Sunday night and told he had to evacuate. “I had never experienced anything like this,” said the veteran vintner, who fled Communist Yugoslavia in the 1950s before making his way to Napa Valley in 1958 to make wine.

Grgich went to the Victorian house he owns in Yountville, but on Wednesday morning he and his companion were driving farther south to escape the smoke in the resort town. “It is too hard on my old lungs,” Grgich said, adding that he still did not know if the house he built on a hillside in Calistoga had survived the fires along with the vineyard of old zinfandel that grows near it.

Vintner Tim Mondavi spoke from San Francisco, having been evacuated from his home on Silverado Trail.

“There are a lot of people from the valley here,” he said. “I keep running into them. Everyone is sharing news as they hear it.”

To his knowledge, his house was still standing, Mondavi said, but he hasn’t been able to return.

Continuum, his Pritchard Hill winery in east Napa, is standing and running on back-up power from a generator, he said. “Fuel is a concern. We have enough left for a couple of days, but obviously can’t bring any more in.”

Continuum had brought in about two-thirds of their harvested grapes when the fire broke out, and he hopes to be able to get the remaining one-third in “as soon as possible, if it is possible.” But for the time being, the safety of the crew and staff is the paramount concern.

Mondavi said the team was trying to establish fire breaks around Continuum on Wednesday.

Of the valley’s three farmworker housing centers, only the Calistoga center remained open on Wednesday. Gil Ortiz, the site’s manager, said the center was located three miles south of where the fire was burning Wednesday morning and had not been told to evacuate. “We’ve been real lucky,” he said.

Of the 55 residents at the center, Ortiz estimated only about 10 were working on Wednesday, while others “have already been told by their employer … the season is already over.”

Angel Calderon, manager of the River Ranch farmworker housing center, said from the center by phone that the center’s 60 residents had been evacuated Tuesday night and Calderon had just returned Wednesday morning to check on the site.

“Everything looks normal,” he said. “We have electricity. We have services.” But he noted smoke was heavy near the site that morning.

For some of the center’s evacuees, Calderon said, “the harvest is over. I don’t think they’re going to pick any more grapes.”

To his knowledge, some were returning to Mexico, while others had gone to Vallejo to stay with family members. Still some have remained in the area, he said, “They call me and tell me they are sleeping in their cars.”

Karen Hartsock

COBDEN — Karen Hartsock, 66, died at 2:50 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017, at home.

Services will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 14, in Immanuel Praise and Worship Center in Cobden, with George Miller officiating. Interment will be in Cobden Cemetery.

Rendleman and Hileman Funeral Home in Cobden is in charge of arrangements.

To view the full obituary, visit

Bobby D. Kirk

MOUNT VERNON — Bobby D. Kirk, 63, passed away Tuesday morning, Oct. 10, 2017, in SSM Health Good Samaritan Hospital in Mount Vernon.

He was born Sept. 6, 1954, in Du Quoin, the son of William L. "Bud" and Lorene (Thompson) Kirk.

Mr. Kirk was a retired floral designer. He was well known for his love of square dancing. One of the highlights of his life was when he danced on stage at the Grand Ole Opry.

Mr. Kirk is survived by his two brothers, William P. Kirk and wife, Paula, of Sesser, and Danny L. Kirk and wife, Diana, of Sesser; two sisters, Paula Wilkerson of Mount Vernon, and Judy Eckles and husband, Richard, of Benton; and many nieces and nephews.

Mr. Kirk was preceded in death by his parents; a sister, Patsy Dickey and her husband, Wesley; and two nieces, Tina Dickey and Becky (Denham) Tufts.

Private services will be in Maple Hill Cemetery in Sesser.

The Johnston Funeral Home in Ina is in charge of arrangements.

Ronald L. Glidewell

CAPE GIRARDEAU — Ronald Lewis Glidewell, 63, passed away, Friday, Oct. 6, 2017.

Memorial services will be at noon Monday, Oct. 16, in Meredith Funeral Home Chapel, Grand Tower. Burial will follow in Goodbread Cemetery, Gorham. Visitation will be from 10 a.m. to noon Monday at the funeral chapel. 

Memorials are the preferred form of remembrance and may be made to American Heart Association and will be accepted at the funeral chapel.

Too see the full obituary or if you would like to share a story or memory of Ronald, visit

Kay R. Lockwood

HERRIN — Kay R. Lockwood, 83, died Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017, in Shawnee Christian Nursing Home.

She was born Thursday, Aug. 30, 1934, in Herrin, to Frank and Celia (Lueker) Lockwood.

Kay was an avid Cardinal Baseball fan.

Services will be at 1 p.m. Monday, Oct. 16, in Van Natta Funeral Home at 427 S. Park Ave., in Herrin, with the Rev. Glenn Sanders officiating. Interment will be in Egyptian Memorial Gardens. Visitation will be from noon to 1 p.m. Monday at the funeral home.

Richard Cooley

DONGOLA — Richard Cooley, 64, died Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017, at home.

Services will be at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14, in Rendleman and Hileman Funeral Home in Anna, with the Rev. Paul Sadler officiating. Interment will be in Christian Chapel Cemetery. Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. today, Oct. 13, at the funeral home.

To view the full obituary and leave online condolences for the family, visit

Hobert F. Rhodes

ANNA — Hobert F. Rhodes, 63, died at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017, at his home.

Services will be at noon Monday, Oct. 16, in Rendleman and Hileman Funeral Home in Anna, with the Rev. Paul Sadler officiating. Interment will be in Cobden Cemetery. Visitation will be from 11 a.m. to noon Monday at the funeral home.

To view the full obituary, visit

Daniel E. 'Dan' Liggett

CARTERVILLE — Daniel E. “Dan” Liggett, 87, passed away at 12:56 a.m. Oct. 11, 2017, in Herrin Hospital in Herrin.

As per Dan’s wishes, he will be cremated. No services are planned at this time.

To leave a message of condolence, visit

Judy Kay Sissom

OLIVE BRANCH — Judy Kay Sissom, 65, of Cape Girardeau, formerly of the Olive Branch area, died at 10:57 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017, in Southeast Hospital.

Arrangements are incomplete at Crain Funeral Home in Tamms.

Pamela D. Drysdale

WEST CITY — Pamela D. Drysdale, 57, passed away at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017, at home.

Arrangements are incomplete at Union Funeral Home in West Frankfort.

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