It has now been a month since deadly wildfires in Northern California consumed whole neighborhoods, as well as hotels, restaurants, wineries and other businesses, and the region, which saw the deaths of 39 people as a result of the fires, is still recovering.
Now, surviving wineries in Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino counties are begging wine lovers to visit them in the hopes that tourist dollars, which have been significantly lessened of late as a result, pick up again. Only three wineries in the three-county wine country were completely destroyed, and many of the ones that were partially damaged in the fires are back up and running again.
But if you don’t have plans to travel to California this holiday season, there are still other ways that you can help the wineries — and California wildfire relief in general.
Here are two of them. They both involve wine, of course.
Eberly’s Happy Hour Wine Special
Through Dec. 1, the South Lamar restaurant is showcasing Sonoma wine producer Chateau St. Jean during happy hour at the stately Cedar Tavern bar. During happy hour, glasses of the chardonnay, "Bijou" Rosé and pinot noir will be $6, and a portion of the proceeds from each glass will go toward the North Bay Fire Relief.
The North Bay Fire Relief is a fundraising effort by California’s Redwood Credit Union aiming to help fire victims, first responders who have lost homes, schools that were damaged and general relief efforts of the North Bay area, and 100 percent of the funds raised for it will benefit them, according to Eberly.
Happy hour at Eberly runs from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and all night on Monday and Sunday. That’s when certain dishes are half-off, in case you want to make a meal of it. Happy hour also includes $4 draft beers and $7 select cocktails.
Wine for the People’s Harvest Celebration
In this case, you’ll be supporting California relief efforts by drinking Texas wine — and what fine Texas wine it is. Wine for the People, a local organization that aims to foster community through sharing small-batch, well-made wine, is throwing a party on Nov. 19 to launch a couple of new Texas nouveau wines straight from the tanks.
What are nouveau wines, you ask? They are similar to the Beaujolais bottles France popularized: fresh, accessible wines that are released this time of year in celebration of the grape harvest. Wine for the People is debuting three from its Dandy Rosé line and the new Grower Project, a collaboration with Andrew Sides of Lost Draw Cellars.
The goal of the Grower Project is to “produce single-site wines, designed specifically for restaurants and wine bars to increase visibility of high-quality boutique wines made from 100 percent Texas grapes,” according to Wine for the People.
At the celebration, sip on the rosé and two wines from the Grower Project, a sangiovese and a trebbiano. There will also be a local artisan market, passed tapas, a photo booth and DJ beats. The event, at the Palm Door on Sabine in downtown Austin, will benefit California wildfire relief efforts. Buy $30 advance tickets on Eventbrite or $35 tickets at the door.