Big Basin Vineyards CZU Complex Fire Recovery Fund

On August 19th, the helicopters overhead ordered our evacuation.  After spraying down what we could, and grabbing what our panicked minds could think of, we managed to get out as the CZU Lightening Complex Fire lit up the sky to the north of our vineyards as it started its rampage through the San Lorenzo Valley and Santa Cruz Mountains, south of San Francisco.  After repeated attempts to get back into the vineyards and winery were stymied by road blocks and active fires, we finally received word on August 22nd that the fire had reached the property from three different directions and the losses were considerable.
 
The devastation is heart wrenching.  My brother Bradley, founder and co-owner of Big Basin Vineyards, lost his house.  The surrounding forest suffered badly and the vineyard storage buildings, fencing and irrigation systems are a total loss. The redwood-sided winery with our 2019 vintage still inside is miraculously still standing, protected bravely by the vineyard itself and, most likely, quite a few very brave fire fighters. 
 
While we hope insurance will cover much of the material losses, crop insurance is not available in our area.  Specifically, we lost our entire 2020 Estate vintage, which accounts for over half of our annual income.  The acre of newly planted vines wasn't strong enough to survive the intense heat and loss of irrigation and although grape vines are hardy and stubborn plants, we estimate that some of the established vineyard will need to be replanted.  The Rattlesnake Rock and Old Corral blocks, two of the blocks producing our 95 and 94 point scoring wines, bore the brunt of fire and we are watching them carefully for signs that they will recover.
 
2020 has been a challenging year, even before the fires hit, but we were finding creative ways to compensate for some of our pandemic-related loss in sales.  The uninsured fire losses, however, are beyond the scope of our small, family business' creative solutions.  Many of our customers have been asking how they might help us and at their suggestion, we have set up this GoFundMe page.
 
This campaign will enable us rebuild and replant what we have lost, beyond what can be covered by insurance. This location has been an active site for grape vines since the early 1900’s, and we will continue to be conscientious and passionate stewards of this unique island of beauty and bounty. 
 
We thank you in advance for whatever support you are able to give.  We look forward to sharing this special location and wines with you in the future.


51740608_1602100230602518_r.jpegRattlesnake Rock Block Syrah


51740608_1602100259158096_r.jpegDrone view after the fire


51740608_1602102424538365_r.jpegOne of our tractors


51740608_1602100366709251_r.jpegThe Big Basin Vineyards team:  Luis, Wendy, Audrey, Bradley, Ruthie, Doug and Blake.  And of course, Beignet.

Donations

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  • Michael Nilsson 
    • $300 
    • 14 d
  • Kevin OBrien 
    • $150 
    • 15 d
  • John Arpin 
    • $150 
    • 22 d
  • Scott Cunningham  
    • $150 
    • 1 mo
  • Jason Chan 
    • $75 
    • 1 mo
See all

Fundraising team: BBV Team Supporters (4)

Wendy Brown 
Organizer
Boulder Creek, CA
AUDREY SNYDER 
Beneficiary
Bradley Brown 
Team member
Ruthie Guido 
Team member

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