October 14, 2017 The crush was interrupted on Monday morning by a spreading cloud of smoke and wildfires springing up around Sonoma County, sweeping through with such speed that many families had to escape without any belongings. In the resulting cacophony of reports, rumors spread that the Glen Ellen Village Market was in flames and Chateau St. Jean had burned to the ground. Panic set in with fire visible in the hills, causing clogged roads and false stories due to the lack of access for compiling accurate reports. Nearby hotels filled with evacuees, while others fled to relatives, friends, co-workers, or shelters; the adventurous drove to campgrounds that were out of immediate danger to spend the night.
October 9, 2017 When fires began threatening areas of Sonoma County, quickly clouding them in smoke and ash, I became concerned for my favorite local wineries in Glen Ellen and Kenwood. With an evacuation ordered, conflicting reports, and wild rumors spreading, I curated a list of wineries and their statuses, based on the information that I could gather.
August 31, 2017 Benziger is a destination winery, with sprawling gardens and tram tours packed with visitors eagerly taking selfies. Their gift shop alone is larger than the average Glen Ellen tasting room. Despite their size and influx of tourists, Benziger runs like a well-oiled machine, with experienced, informed staff ready to explain the unique farming techniques used on the property.