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In the winter of 2016/2017, we removed about 550 aging Merlot vines and replaced them with Cabernet Franc vines, a favorite varietal of Sheldon’s. The 2017 growing season was fantastic, but due to years of drought, the fall brought waves of fires. From Northern California to North Bay to Wine Country, we were surrounded by fires all sides. Caston and Jace came down from Canada to help with harvest and support Sheldon in case of an emergency evacuation. It was very surreal to be picking grapes and making wine while surrounded by fire on three sides. We had bombers and helicopters flying just above tree-top level. Fortunately, CalFire was able to gain control before the fires reached Spring Mountain.