Wildfires Ravage Northern California

Governor Jerry Brown to declare a state of emergency for Lake and Napa counties, plus a Toronto bar creates new Harry Potter-themed drinks, and other news from the world of wine, spirits and beer.

Headlines

A series of wildfires are currently ravaging large areas of Northern California, prompting Governor Jerry Brown to declare a state of emergency for Lake and Napa counties. State officials report that hundreds of structures have been destroyed, while 23,000 area residents have been evacuated. According to Weather.com, the Valley Fire has burned 62,000, with one reported death, destroying more than 400 structures and threatening 9,000 more, with 10-percent contained. The Butte Fire, at 35-percent containment, has burned 71,523 acres, destroyed more than 200 structures and threatening 6,400 more. The Rough Fire has burned 138,000 acres burned and is 40-percent contained.

Canadian Harry Potterfans rejoice! Toronto’s newest watering hole is The Lockhart, modeled after a character in J.K. Rowling’s hit book series. Named for the second book’s Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, the bar’s menu features Harry Potter-themed drinks, such as The Shacklebolt and Befuddlement Brew, according to Now Toronto. There will also be HP trivia nights and a Halloween party.


In the Trade

On September 8, Heineken entered a 50-50 partnership with Lagunitas Brewing Company, taking a 50 percent stake in the Petaluma brewery, according to The Press Democrat. The outlet reports the financial terms were undisclosed, though it says Lagunitas is valued at $1 billion. “For us, we don’t need assistance here in the United States. But there is the whole world to think about,” said owner Tony Magee. “We can partner with one of the world’s greatest family-owned, really beer-centric companies to find our way into all of these markets globally.”

The Sonoma Harvest Wine Auction topped its $4 million record this year with $4.5 million, with an additional $1.9 million for Fund the Future to support reading programs across Sonoma County. Handfuls of vintners stepped up to encourage bidding. Bill Price, the owner of Three Sticks Winery, pledged $250,000; Jackson Family Wines $150,000; Matt Gallo of Gallo Family Wines $150,000; Francis Ford Coppola Winery $100,000, with many more contributing. The biggest prize auctioned featured a private dinner by Chef Patrick O’Connell of The Inn at Little Washington in Virginia, accompanied by a private performance from Grammy-winning musician Bruce Hornsby to be held at the winery, which went for $420,000.—Virginie Boone


On the Scene

Digital Editorial Manager Marina Vataj mastered the art of pairing Spanish wine and food while exploring Barcelona.

We want a sip of some of these Pisco Sours! Check out what our Spirits Editor Kara Newman has been up to in Peru!

Check out our Associate Editor Joseph Hernandez’s beautifully crafted cocktails at Brooklyn’s Bearded Lady bar.

Published on September 15, 2015
Topics: Cocktails, News and Trends, Travel


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