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150-year-old Healdsburg winery destroyed in Kincade Fire

The original building dates to 1869

A building on fire at night.
Flames consuming Soda Rock Winery on Sunday.
Photo by AP Photo/Noah Berger

On Monday, Eater SF reported that the 150-year-old Healdsburg building belonging to Soda Rock Winery, along Chalk Hill Road, had been completely destroyed by the still-growing Kincade Fire in Sonoma County. The San Francisco Chronicle published harrowing footage of the historic building ablaze during its final moments.

Cal Fire responders called the structure’s destruction “a complete loss.”

Built in stages from 1860 to 1900, the building’s stone facade, now a skeleton barely standing, and a barn used as an event space are the only parts of the winery that remain intact today. The property’s two homes, studio, water tower, and 20,000-square-foot wine production facility and tasting room were immolated Sunday as the fire swept over the Anderson Valley winery.

Winery management, who witnessed the destruction firsthand, said they were “devastated.” No injuries were reported.

Soda Rock was owned by Wilson Artisan Wines, which owns nine other wineries in the North Bay.

Soda Rock was the original site of the Alexander Valley general store and post office during the late 19th century. SFGate reported in 2016 that prior to the Wilson Artisan Wines purchase, not much was left of the Soda Rock site except for “a few dilapidated buildings on an overgrown piece of land.” By 1986, the place had fallen into disrepair.

But the current owners, who bought the circa-1869 property in 2000, went to work on a major restoration, using recycled and green materials, hauling in a bar salvaged from a local tavern, and refurbishing the space’s exposed redwood beams.

All of it is now lost due to the fire.

Fieldstone Winery, also located in Healdsburg, was reduced to rubble as well.

On Wednesday, Cal Fire estimated more than 90,000 homes and businesses threatened by the Kincade Fire, but Orange County-based data firm Core Logic says that 221 structures worth an estimated $150 million are already within the perimeter of the fire area itself.