NAPA VALLEY (CBS13) — Nearly two weeks after a fire broke out in Napa and Sonoma counties, wine country is struggling to bounce back.
“It’s like we’re suffering a second disaster,” said Tom Davies, president of V. Sattui Winery in St. Helena. “The images of the last week and a half have been horrific. Because of these images, all of the people are staying away.”
Davies said that’s only making things worse. Many wineries that have reopened want their employees to get back to work. But they still need more people in their tastings rooms.
Employees like Hilien Shenouda need business now more than ever.
“The house was burned down, and all my belongings were gone,” she said.
She’s eager to save up and start over, but she and coworker Shelby Green worry fewer customers will mean fewer hours.
“We’re trying to get back to our normal life,” Green said. “I think every business here wants people to come back.”
Matt Flynn and his wife just arrived in Napa from Nebraska on Thursday.
“I was hesitant at first, but we were excited to come back regardless of conditions going on,” Flynn said. “We love the area.”
And that’s the attitude Davies hopes more people will adopt.
“We need you,” Davies said. “We need you to come stay. Stay in our hotels, Eat in our restaurants, drink our wine, visit our wineries. This is how they can best help us.”