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Lovers of California wine won't have to deal with shortage despite raging wildfires

Last Updated Oct 29, 2019 at 9:27 pm PDT

In this Nov. 23, 2013, file photo a server fills wine glasses in St. Helena, Calif. Restaurants Canada wants the government to allow restaurants and bars to sell consumers alcohol to be drunk at home. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Eric Risberg

It seems B.C. lovers of California wine won't have to worry about a shortfall, despite raging fires in the U.S

Most of the grapes used in winemaking had already been picked before the devastating fires first broke out

B.C. lovers of California wine have no immediate reason to fear a shortage because of wildfires burning in the U.S.

Ian Tostenson, the president and CEO of the BC Restaurant and Food Services Association, says it could take two years for anything to change.

“Any California wine that is on the shelves here has been in warehousing storage for months,” he says. “So I really don’t think we are going to see any effect because of the fires. Hopefully, those fires subside and we can continue to enjoy our California wine.”

He adds most of the grapes have already been picked before the wildfires broke out.

“We are just finishing harvests in the Okanagan right now, but California goes earlier so they were probably a month or a month and a half ago,” he says. “I don’t anticipate any problems.”

He says a small winery in Sonoma which is one of the oldest in the region has been destroyed, but friends in the industry have told him it’s business as usual because most operators have already harvested this year’s grapes.