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Good news wine lovers: Wildfires had little effect on production

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Posted at 6:58 PM, Nov 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-08 19:58:21-05

Despite devastating wildfires that ravaged the California's Wine Country, a leading advocacy group for California's wine producers said on Wednesday that wine production was not significantly impacted by the wildfires. 

The Wine Institute said that close to 90 percent of winegrapes had already been picked and produced from California's top three wine producing counties before the wildfires struck. 

"The vast majority of California's 2017 winegrape harvest was unaffected by the wildfires and the vintage promises to be of excellent quality," said Robert P. (Bobby) Koch, president and CEO of Wine Institute. "The outpouring of support locally and from around the world for people in the impacted communities has been phenomenal."

Wine production in 2017 was boosted by an end to California's five-year drought. Rain, plus a mid-summer heat wave, made for good conditions to help produce winegrapes. Cooler weather in the fall caused winegrapes to ripen more slowly, lowering overall yield. 

The October wildfires killed 43, and caused at least $3 billion in damage.