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Local winery to donate portion of proceeds to California wildfire recovery efforts

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(WDAY)—The wildfires in California's wine country are being called "catastrophic" 21 people have died, 3,500 homes and businesses have been destroyed hundreds of thousands of acres have burned.

"Worrying about the wine is one thing, but there were lives lost," said Lisa Cook, 4e Winery.

4e Winery in Mapleton took the news hard, as its California colleagues faced wildfire destruction.

They planted their own vineyards six years ago, and say it's a long road to recovery for the livelihoods lost in the flames.

"Buildings can be rebuilt, the vines on the other hand, if the vines in the vineyard were burnt down that's going to be 5 to 7 years recovery," said Cook.

With a 170,000 acres scorched, they've decided to donate a percent of their proceeds of wine sales this weekend to the recovery effort.

"People coming out to the tasting rooms see us out at the Red River Market, and know that while they're getting some great wine we'll also be making a little bit of a contribution to those who have been affected," said Cook.

Taking a look at our local shelves, Bottle Barn's William Hill vineyards luckily suffered minimal damage, and they have harvested most of their grapes, so store managers here, don't anticipate a big jump in their prices.

"We're hearing that 90 percent of the grapes in Napa Valley were already harvested, in the Napa and Sonoma area. So that hopefully should not affect wine prices in the future," said Christopher Larson, Bottle Barn General Manager.

While price impact may not be immediate, they are keeping their watch for changes.

"In the future, if there's any serious vineyard damage, we will see an increase prices in the grapes that come from those areas," said Larson.

As crews battle the flames, the exact extent of damage is still unknown.

4e Winery agrees wine prices likely will not rise, because large wineries can absorb the loss, but the damage can be career-ending for some of the smaller vineyards.

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