Burned wine barrels are seen at a destroyed Paradise Ridge Winery in Santa Rosa in California on October 10, 2017. AFP / JOSH EDELSON
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The fires ravaging northern California stand to leave the area's renowned wine industry with damage that will be felt long after the final flames burn out. At least four Napa Valley vineyards have been destroyed or significantly damaged, and the toll may be even worse in Sonoma County to the west. Though the majority of grapes have already been picked for the season, the smoke effects on those remaining may mean they have to be thrown out, diminishing this year's vintage.The wildfires continue to rage after suddenly and swiftly sweeping through the region starting Sunday night, leaving at least 21 people dead and displacing thousands in an area that's home to a thriving tourism industry and some of the most valuable vineyards in the U.S. While it's too early to gauge the extent of damage to California's wine industry, which contributed almost $58 billion to the state economy last year, the effects are likely to be lasting.The areas produce the highest-end grapes in the state, which makes 85 percent of U.S. wines.The grapes that remain were largely Cabernet Sauvignon, according to Napa Valley Vintners.
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