Hood River Vineyards and Winery is closed indefinitely after a wildland fire destroyed the winery structure on Westwood Drive, along with boxed and barreled wine stored at the facility, Sunday afternoon.
“At this time, we don’t know much besides that we lost the winery structure,” said Anne Lerch in a written statement. Anne and Bernard Lerch purchased Hood River Vineyards and Winery in 1992.
“Thankfully, no one was hurt, and neighboring properties are unharmed and safe, thanks to the extremely capable and skilled firefighters here in Hood River and agencies in the surrounding area,” Lerch said. “At this time, we are asking folks to please respect our privacy as we recover and evaluate the situation.”
West Side Fire, the Oregon Department of Forestry, the U.S. Forest Service, the Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area, Hood River Fire and Mosier Fire responded to reports of a wildland fire near Post Canyon threatening a structure at 1:40 p.m. on July 7. Mop up was completed by approximately 8 p.m. that same day.
Though the total acreage of the fire was less than an acre, “the potential of the fire was extreme,” said West Side Fire Marshal Jim Trammell, due to winds directing the flames towards tall, dry grassland nearby. “We’re lucky we were able to hold it,” Trammell said.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.