Instead of having to wait a week as expected, employees of former Wichitan Leslie Rudd were able to access his estate at Mt. Veeder in Napa Valley this week.
“We initially thought our sheep were lost to the fire, but they escaped and our Vineyard Manager is currently visiting shelters to hopefully bring them all home,” wrote Wendi Green, marketing director for the Rudd Collection, in an e-mail.
All of the farm’s animals – chickens, turkeys, ducks, goats and a pig – survived.
“A lovely neighbor was apparently feeding them,” Green wrote.
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The property lost a couple of small buildings along with some tractors and other equipment, and there was damage to a water treatment room. Green said the established vineyards were unharmed, though.
“Vineyards are incredibly resilient, and as we learned first-hand, provide an ideal firebreak due to the amount of moisture and sap in the vines this time of year,” Green wrote. “Surrounding hillsides were burned, but the fires stopped at the edge of the vineyards.”
She said people are returning to the area to help in the recovery.
“We’re truly fortunate to have escaped major damage.”