Mission Sonoma Recovery

Helping Sonoma County Recover from the 2017 Wildfires

Our hearts go out to those suffering the rash of CA fires that again have devastated so many communities

Why Mission Sonoma?

In October of 2017, which was just days after the last of the Sonoma County
fires, Matrix Precise hosted our annual event. The tragedy taking place in
the North Bay was on everyone’s mind. We could see the smoke from our
venue and many of us had friends and family members seriously impacted
by this tragedy. Right then we vowed as a company to find a way to help the
region.

Is Sonoma ready for visitors?

In October of 2018 we drove up to Sonoma to visit businesses that were severely impacted by the 2017 Wildfires. It was almost a year since the tragic wildfires and we were apprehensive about seeing the lingering devastation.  We were also curious to see if there had been visible progress toward the recovery.

Our first stop was Coffey Park, a high-density residential area in the heart of Santa Rosa.

How we are Helping!

Local businesses are the bread and butter of our economy. For every $100 you spend at local businesses, $68 remains in the community.  Independent retailers return more than three times as much money per dollar of sales to the community in which they operate, and they are more likely to hire locals, who in turn, reinvest in the community where they live.

Businesses We Supported

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In our Sonoma County Giving Back mission we wanted to let the local businesses know that we specifically came to see them, see how they are doing and wanted them to recover faster, stronger and better. We saw a strong Sonoma, but in order for them to fully recover from the devastating fires, the region will need the support of locals and visitors alike.

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Backyard Restaurant

6566 Front Street, Forestville, CA 95436 - backyardforestville.com

Backyard is a hyper-local restaurant in Forestville with menus that can change daily. Food ingredients are grown, raised or line caught locally. They use the season’s harvest from their local farm, Bee Run Hollow, to create a style of rustic, California cuisine, in a West Sonoma County fashion. Backyard's mission is to bring the experience of Sonoma County's backyard to your table. They also have a wonderful dining on the patio.During the 2017 wildfires, Backyard closed down the restaurant for weeks and turned their kitchen into a much-needed community cooking center. They offered their supply of farm fresh food by the truck load. Backyard chefs and cooks made meals around the clock for food deliveries to wildfire victims.

Restaurant Gift Certificates and products are available

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Bee-Well Farms

101 Trinity Rd, Glen Ellen, CA 95442 * 707-217-7788 * bee-wellfarms.com

Austin and Melissa Lely started Bee-Well Farms in 2015. They were growing an acre and a half of produce for local farmers’ markets, and raising more than 400 chickens for egg production.

Although their animals were saved, the 2017 wildfire destroyed most of their farm equipment and property. With support from local community, the couple have been working through many challenges to rebuild their farming business again. They plan to open an on-site farm stand and build a website where they can sell commodities online. Facebook Page

Ways to help:Request a giftcard for their farmers market stand or farmstand

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Hector’s Farm

Hector’s Honey Farm * 707-579-9416 * hectorhoneybees@comcast.net

Hector is a lovely small local honey bee farmer that sells his products primarily at the Farmers Market or a local Farmstand. He lost 52 beehives in the 2017 Wildfires and the recovery process has been quite difficult. He needs to buy equipment, build new boxes, re-establish more colonies, and find locations with enough forage for his hives.

Products:Honey, Eggs, Vegetables, Herbal-Teas, Candles, Gifts

Ways to help:
Purchase his products at the local farmers Markets or contact him directly for larger quantity orders.

Farmers Markets:Santa Rosa Luther Burbank Center, Sonoma Farmers Market at the Plaza Link

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Sonoma Valley Farmers Market

Sonoma Valley Certified Farmers Market | 241 First St. W., Sonoma

Open year-round, very popular with locals popular with locals, and it’s a great place for visitors to put together a picnic for a day’s outing. It offers wonderful fruits and veggies, locally-produced foods baked goods, flowers and plants, and numerous hand-made craft items.

Open Fridays: 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Website

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Old World Winery

850 River Road, Futon, CA 95439 * (707) 490-6696 * oldworldwinery.com * Farm

Old World Winery is a small, family owned winery and farm. Fourth generation winemaker. Darek Trowbridge is the Winemaker and his Great-Great-Grandfather started the farm in 1890. Darek uses the traditional practices to produce all-natural wines and cider; no yeast or chemicals are added to the fermentation process. Chickens and pigs are also raised on the farm.

Grapes are harvested annually through involving community members only. Everyone can participate usually in the month of September.

Darek and his family lost their home to an accidental fire the previous year and lost a Syrah vineyard that Darek had spent 5 years working on to bring it to health and was hoping to see the fruits of that labor in 2018. The fire took a toll on all their health. The air was toxic for quite a long time. They lost friends, and everyone new someone that lost their home.

Since October they have lost 50-60% of local visitors to their tasting room that had been established a decade ago. They state they have gained a deep appreciation for what they have and for their amazing community.

Ways to help: Visit them in their Tasting room. Purchase their fabulous natural wines, and sometimes you might even get to know their fun farm animals and pick up some eggs along the way.

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Event: Holidays Along the Farm Trails

Nov.18 - Jan.1

Event info: registration required.

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Tierra Vegetables

651 Airport Blvd, Santa Rosa CA 95403 * (707) 544-6141 * tierravegetables.com

Tierra Vegetables produces high quality food and fiber products through sustainable farming. They sell locally grown and produced fruits and vegetables on their farm, including many varieties of chilies and beans. They also offer a great CSA box program which contains seasonal produce weekly.
Tierra Vegetables lost a majority of their customer base from the loss of nearby neighborhoods/homes.
Ways to help: Purchase produce, Chile jam, hot sauce polenta dried beans
Farm Trial Link

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Beltane Ranch

11775 Sonoma Highway, Glen Ellen, CA 95442 * beltaneranch.com

Beltane Ranch is a sixth-generation family-owned operated working ranch, a vineyard, a winery, a registered landmark and a Bed & Breakfast Inn with roots way back to 1892.
They also rent their ranch out for weddings which usually occur during the weekends.

Ways to help: Farmstay, Food+Wine Experience, or bottle of wine

Large areas of the ranch were damaged in the 2017 wildfire. The fire even burned through the water pipes feeding the Beltane hoses, forcing the family to manually use shovels and rakes to keep the fire away from valuable structures. Many structures were saved, but some of their valuable wine and other property was not.

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Paradise Ridge

8860 Sonoma Hwy, Kenwood, CA 95452 * (707) 282-9020 prwinery.com

Paradise Ridge is a winery in the Russian River Valley established in 1994 by owners Walter Byck and Marijke Hoenselaars. The winery is a place where guests can savor vineyard-designated wines and take in sweeping wine country views.
The two-story tall, metal Love sculpture still stands at Paradise Ridge Winery, in Santa Rosa. The winery’s estate tasting room, wine production facility and some of the surrounding vineyards and gardens were destroyed by the Tubbs.
Luckily their vineyards and art survived and became a source of comfort to the community. They are planning to rebuild.


Ways to help: They have a tasting room on 8850 Sonoma Highway that is open, Join Wine Club, purchase their Wonderful Wine

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Restaurant: The Stark’s

starkrestaurants.com

Mark and Terri met while both were working for the California Cafe Restaurant Group in Palo Alto. They married in 1999, and relocated to Sonoma County shortly thereafter where Terri has four generations of family. The Starks believe it’s not enough to just provide great food and service in a comfortable setting; their goal is to provide an experience that will leave diners saying, “I can’t wait to come back.”
Mark and Terri Stark together own and operate six Sonoma County restaurants:

  • Bird and the Bottle in Santa Rosa
  • Bravas Bar De Tapas in Healdsburg
  • Monti’s Montgomery Village Shopping Center Santa Rosa
  • Stark’s Steak & Seafood in Santa Rosa
  • Willi’s Seafood & Raw Bar in Healdsburg

Their sixth restaurant, named the Willi’s Wine Bar, was completely destroyed in the 2017 wildfire. However, the current plan is for the award winning restaurant to reopen exactly one year later. The location is still undecided, however the owners promise it will carry on Willi’s signature comfy, laid-back style, including a patio for al-fresco drinking and dining.

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Restaurant: Valette, Healdsburg

344 Center Street, Healdsburg, CA * 707-473-0946 * http://www.valettehealdsburg.com

Dustin Valette established Valette restaurant in Healdsburg in 2015. Valette was born from two brothers’ lifelong dream of creating a unique dining experience in their hometown of Healdsburg. Their goal is to provide a canvas for local farmers, winemakers and artisans to showcase their crafts.

During the 2017 wildfire crisis, at high financial cost to himself, his business made 150 meals that first day, and about 400 dinners a night for the first responders, a pattern they continued for about a week and a half. The meals didn't just provide sustenance but an injection of morale. He and the rest of the community is recovering from the long lasting effects of the fires.


Ways to help: Restaurant Gift Certificates and products are available, they also make two-award winning wines

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Farmacopia

Santa Rosa * https://www.farmacopia.net/

Is an alternative healing clinic in Santa Rosa created by Lily Mazarella. Once the fires started, many Practitioners, bodyworkers, and herbalists mobilized immediately to create dozens of pop-up Integrative Healing Clinics at base camps and shelters. One of them being Farmacopia. Together they changed the model of what emergency response looks like by providing natural remedies to help people with compromised health. They offered healing treatments to firefighters at the base camp including acupuncture and massages.


Products: High-quality various natural remedies, tinctures, natural

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Sonoma Love Box

For a curated option, please visit http://sonomalovebox.com/farm-trails-edition/

A local vendor has put together a pre-made gift basket that has a collection of Farm Trails member products.

The Farm Trails Edition Sonoma Love Gift Box contains products from those that have been affected by the 2017 wildfires, and is a way to support them. This specialty box is $84.95.

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Event: Sonoma County Farm Trails

Sonoma Valley Certified Farmers Market | 241 First St. W., Sonoma,

Sonoma County Farm Trails is a wonderful organization that has worked for decades to promote local agriculture, family farms and educating the public about the importance of supporting local agriculture.

In their member directory you will find local produce and family farms, vintners, local restaurants, B&Bs, Nurseries, tours and events and much more. Many of our company giveaways were purchased from some of these businesses.

When visiting them, you can indulge in the many produce and culinary options they offer, experience the passion and dedication their members have for their craft and make wonderful memories with your family and friends.

To view a directory of their members, upcoming events and other resource Visit Website

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Event: Weekend Along the Farm Trails

October 13 & 14

  • Meet farmers, vintner & artisan producers
  • Enjoy Tastes, Tours, Picnics, Demonstrations, Educational Tours, Pumpkin Patches…
  • Farmstands, Holiday gifts, Olive Oil, Cider, Wine, Meat…
  • Horses, Chickens, Cows, Bees, Sheep, Goats
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Event: Weekend Along the Farm Trails

October 13 & 14

This is a fabulous way to meet and explore Sonoma County farms with friends and family.

Event info: registration required.

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Event: The Sebastopol Food & Farm Festival

October 21

$75 includes admission, food & drinks * The Barlow, 6770 McKinley St., Sebastopol, CA An outdoor showcase of local food and drinks prepared by Sonoma County's finest chefs, winemakers, brewers and food artisans, all featuring the seasonal bounty of our favorite farms. Enjoy live music, art and a wide array of tastes from dozens of culinary masters each paired with a local farmer. All proceeds go towards wildfire relief and a new initiative to better prepare our farms and rural communities for future disasters. Event info

Profile of Segassia Vineyard

&

The Rescue RayZyn Project

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History of the Segassia Vineyard is spectacular. Mt. Vedeer of the Segassia Vineyard has an amazing fruit source, most spectacular grapes, cultivating extraordinary Cabernet Sauvignon. This hillside was first planted to vineyard in 1886, and the original hearth is still there, steps from a mountain spring that sustained the vineyard.

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Mt. Vedeer is an amazing Vineyard with spectacular grapes.  Chris Cates, a retired Cardiologist, purchased the vineyard in 2012 to funnel it into some great projects and bring it back to the roots of the properties working only with small producers and winemakers.

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Segassia Vineyard before the fires 

The Nuns fire burned parts of Glen Ellen and Kenwood in Sonoma and spread over Mount Veeder—which has many vintners, like the Cates—into Napa Valley's west side.

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Segassia Vineyard before the fires 

The fire tore through Segassia Vineyard’s 15-acre vineyard and cellar on the top of the mountain. The Cates had just replanted two blocks of vines six weeks before the fires struck. They also lost verticals of Segassia wines dating back to 2006. His son, Andrew Cates, who operates Segassia Vineyard, also lost his home in the fire.

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Forty percent of Segassia Vineyard’s vines were damaged after the wildfires.  Multiple structures on their property were burned, and all the irrigation equipment was melted in the fire.  While not all the vines were lost, the Crates estimate that it will be 10 to 15 years before the vineyard returns to its former rate of production.  It takes 5 years alone to come to full fruition after a vineyard is lost and replanted.

Grapes are harvested annually through involving community members only. Everyone can participate usually in the month of September.

Darek and his family lost their home to an accidental fire the previous year and lost a Syrah vineyard that Darek had spent 5 years working on to bring it to health and was hoping to see the fruits of that labor in 2018. The fire took a toll on all their health. The air was toxic for quite a long time. They lost friends, and everyone new someone that lost their home.

Since October they have lost 50-60% of local visitors to their tasting room that had been established a decade ago. They state they have gained a deep appreciation for what they have and for their amazing community.

Ways to help: Visit them in their Tasting room. Purchase their fabulous natural wines, and sometimes you might even get to know their fun farm animals and pick up some eggs along the way.

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While many vineyard owners were in shock over the devastating losses, this father-son team set out to make the best of the tragedy.

"We said, 'What can we do in this situation?' … we decided to get active and try to do something good," says Chris Cates.

They realized that a lot of grapes became useful for winemaking and were left behind unharvested due to the smoke tent.


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The importance of reducing food waste is not lost on the Cates family, which is why they developed a patent process for turning wine grapes into raisins several years ago. “If you think about things in the midst of hardship, you can do a lot of good,” says Chris Cates, “but you have to think about them in a different way.” This type of focus led them to test the smoke tainted grapes to discover if they, too, could be converted into raisins.

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The Cates family enlisted the help of Steve Klein of Buena Tierra Vineyard Management, who mobilized crews, and went from vineyard to vineyard, starting with Segassia and hand-harvested approximately 100 tons of fruit in Napa and surrounding areas. This provided also an additional benefit of a “second harvest” for laborers and vineyards helping them to continue to earn wages.

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The Cates family enlisted the help of Steve Klein of Buena Tierra Vineyard Management, who mobilized crews, and went from vineyard to vineyard, starting with Segassia and hand-harvested approximately 100 tons of fruit in Napa and surrounding areas. This provided also an additional benefit of a “second harvest” for laborers and vineyards helping them to continue to earn wages.

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In Nov. 2017, after many vineyards were completely destroyed by the wildfires in Napa and Sonoma County, The Wine RayZyn Company partnered with Food Recovery Network to repurpose unharvested wine grapes from vineyards affected and turn them into Rescue RayZyns™ in support of local wildfire relief.

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The Rescue RayZyns™ initiative is a way to eliminate food waste and feed victims of natural disaster. The Campaign is in support of local wildfire relief, donating another 50 cents of online sales to Napa Valey Community Disaster Relief Fund.

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Partnership with Food Recovery Network to be offered as emergency food for victims of natural disasters because RayZyns have a two to four year shelf life. Additionally, one dollar per online purchase is split as a donation to the Napa Valley Community Disaster Relief Fund and the Food Recovery Network

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Wine RayZyns are made from hand-harvested wine grapes using a special process that keeps the skin and seeds intact to provide an unprecedented source of fiber, nutrients, and antioxidants. They have more antioxidants then Green tea, Red Wine, and commonly dried raisins. They are Kosher, Non-GMO, Vegan and all Natural.

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RayZyns are available to the the Cates Wine Company on their website

Other Ways to Help

North Bay Fire Victims

Calendar of Events

List of Damaged Wineries & Businesses

Things to do

Maps, Guides
& Resources

Made with Love for the North Bay by Matrix Precise

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