'Substantial' Losses of LMR Wine in Devastating Warehouse Fire;
"We Will Continue"
October 14, 2005, Rutherford, CA
Long Meadow Ranch acknowledged today that a substantial portion of its wine inventory was involved in the devastating fire at the Wine Central Services warehouse on Wednesday night. "Virtually all of our bottled inventory was in the warehouse." said co-owner, Ted Hall. "Based on what we know now, we have to assume that it is a total loss."
The huge fire began at approximately 3:30 PM on Wednesday afternoon in a warehouse located on Mare Island, near Vallejo, CA, where the U.S. Navy once operated a nuclear submarine base. The fire was not contained until after 11 PM. Dozens of fire units from throughout the surrounding region were summoned to fight the fire. The large building occupied by Wine Central Services held bottled wine inventory for nearly 90 wineries and several private collectors. A former assembly facility for Navy weapons, the building was considered one of the region's safest structures for storing wine because of its extraordinarily thick concrete walls and roof, fire detection equipment, and temperature control systems. The fire's origin is not known and an investigation is underway.
Long Meadow Ranch's inventory at Wine Central included the releases of 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2002 Sangiovese, and 2003 Ranch House Red, and the winery's entire library collection starting with its inaugural 1994 vintage. "We had a strategy of providing vertical collections to our key restaurant accounts and we have bottled and retained a high proportion of our wines in magnums (1.5L) to support this program. Sadly, all of these wines appear to be lost," Hall added.
"The good news is that our 2003 and 2004 vintage wines are safe in our caves at the winery," said General Manager, Cathy Hazel. "And, we appear to be well on our way to an outstanding harvest in 2005. To help sustain momentum, we will launch our first futures program for consumers in the coming months."
Chris Hall added, "While we will not be able to release new wines until July 2006 at the earliest, we will continue to actively promote our role as a purveyor of fine foods. We are lucky to have a modest inventory of our wines scattered around the country with our distributors. We are looking forward to working with our chef partners to showcase our wine, olive oil, and beef, as well as the rest of the Long Meadow Ranch story."
"While this is a tough blow, we will continue with our many initiatives. We are looking forward to an excellent olive harvest later this fall and we plan a grand opening of our Rutherford Gardens property on March 11, 2006. We also hope to expand our wine club to a broader "ranch" club in the spring . We even contemplate a 20-page spring catalogue featuring the full array of products from Long Meadow Ranch. So, we will continue to demonstrate the power of our diversified approach to agriculture," said co-owner Laddie Hall.
Click for more background on the fire from the San Francisco Chronicle and Vallejo Times Herald.
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Long Meadow Ranch is an innovative organic farming operation - and purveyor of fine food - located high above the Napa Valley on the picturesque slopes of the Mayacamas Mountains where it produces extraordinary red wine, extra virgin olive oil, grass-fed beef, eggs, and heirloom fruits and vegetables for Napa Valley's finest restaurants. Long Meadow Ranch produces ultra premium wines and extra virgin olive oils, under the Long Meadow Ranch Winery, Ranch House Red, Prato Lungo, and Napa Valley Select labels. Beyond the Napa Valley, America's top chefs have regularly featured Long Meadow Ranch wines and olive oils.
Long Meadow Ranch has been known as such since 1872 when it was established as an original "patent grant" ranch signed over by President Ulysses S. Grant. Having been home to a variety of uses during its long history, Long Meadow Ranch continues to grow and prosper through Ted, Laddie and Christopher Hall's stewardship.
The Halls continue to restore and preserve Napa Valley's oldest olive groves, as well as add new plantings of olive trees and vineyards. They have also brought cattle, poultry, and vegetables back into commercial production. Appaloosa horse breeding, along with an extensive composting operation, round out the integrated farming activities at the Ranch.
"Excellence through Responsible Farming" is the motto of Long Meadow Ranch, bolstered by the belief that world-class products can be produced using sustainable, organic farming methods. Long Meadow Ranch does not use herbicides or pesticides and its products are organically grown and certified by the California Certified Organic Farmers.
Contact: Chris Hall