In the middle of the night of October 9, the small family winery and homestead of Helena View Johnston Vineyards burned to the ground. In a quick and forceful swoop, the winery, multiple outparcel buildings, wine cave and family lodging were devastated by the Tubbs Fire. Built by hand and in operation since 1992, the winery is the life work of our Dad, Charlie, and our family. The organic vineyards, all inventory, equipment and vehicles, along with a vast collection of personal belongings were lost that evening. Also lost in the flames were the family cat, Coco, and a menagerie of wild rescue critters being raised by our younger sister.
All who meet Charlie know him to be a passionate and tireless community supporter in the Napa Valley (and beyond). He has donated his time and wines to countless fundraisers and charitable causes such as the Napa Valley Wine Auction, Napa Valley Opera House, Queen of the Valley Hospital, Napa Valley Community Foundation, Calistoga Community Pool, St Helena Catholic School, High Museum Wine Auction, and many, many others. Visitors to the winery will fondly remember traipsing through the vineyards, barrel tastings in the cave and copious cheese and appetizer spreads put out in the tasting room. A visit to Helena View with our Dad was always a unique and memorable experience. In a tragic twist of fate, it is now time for Charlie and his young family to accept help and support in their own time of need.
As word of the fire and loss have spread among friends, fans of the winery and supporters far and wide, many have asked how they can help. We are grateful for any gesture of giving to help him and his family with immediate needs until the insurance process can begin and next steps can be made. As thanks, Charlie would like to offer any donors to the fund a bottle of his 2007 Napa Valley Chateau Classic wine, which thankfully he had stored a portion of at an off-site facility. The wine will be made available to donor visitors to the winery site and coordinated at a future time once more infrastructure is in place.
For information on the fire coverage on Helena View, see article in San Jose Mercury News from 10/12/17. https://goo.gl/UtTdgd
For more photos of the winery and information on Helena View, see our page on the Napa Wine Project website. https://goo.gl/2Ps2Tt
With love and support for all those affected by these devastating recent events, and especially for our Dad, thank you.
Sarah + Tanya Johnston
Daughters of Charlie Johnston