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The Only Race You Need to Run is in California’s Wine Country


California's wine country race

Racing through the vineyards at the end of harvesting season.

When I tell people I’m running a half-marathon they typically groan and mumble something about how running is terrible and they know they should be doing more of it themselves.

Then I tell them I am running a half-marathon in wine country and they have a change of heart. Some even ask me where they can sign up.

The Healdsburg half-marathon falls on Halloween, right at the end of wine harvesting season. This is one of the most scenic race courses in the entire world, winding through both the Alexander and Dry Creek Valleys.

The course is dotted with vineyards and two dozen wineries, beginning at the Virginia Dare Winery and finishing at the Trentadue Winery where there will be a post-race Wine and Music Festival, complete with costume contest and wine-tasting.

As if that weren’t awesome enough. The next day there is post-race yoga at one of the local vineyards.

The town of Healdsburg is a hidden gem, a darling little Sonoma County town with incredible food and shopping surrounded by the bucolic roads of wine country.

What good is a race destination if you can’t fuel up properly before and after the race? The town of Healdsburg is renowned for their wonderful dining opportunities, some of the best in wine country including Spoonbar, Pizzando for wood oven pizzas, BarnDiva for modern country cuisine (with a little art on the side) and Charlie Palmer’s Dry Creek Kitchen at the Hotel Healdsburg.

The lodging options are also second to none. There’s the adorably eco-chic H2 Hotel property, the Farmhouse Inn (also known as the most romantic inn of all time), the seriously grand Madrona Manor and the elegant Hotel Les Mars.

Most wineries are within easy biking distance and many of the hotels will lend you some wheels for your stay. The town is also surrounded by miles of hiking trails for all levels.

This article was originally published by Jo Piazza

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Can California’s top wine region survive the era of megafire?

T he Silverado Trail, a two-lane road that weaves through the bucolic hillsides in the heart of California’s wine country, is the quintessential vision of Napa Valley. Home to dozens of wineries, it is a destination within a destination – one that welcomes both vacationing imbibers and oenophiles from around the world.

But recently the amber hillsides have been laced with the ashen aftermath of wildfires that have torn through the region, leaving behind charred rubble that is fast becoming as much a part of the landscape as the neatly trussed rows of vines.

It is a sign of an increasingly uncertain future for the crown jewel of California’s $43bn wine industry – one in which vintners must adapt to a changing climate and increasingly unpredictable fire seasons in order to survive.

Devastating wildfires have pummeled Napa and Sonoma over the last five years, most recently this summer’s Glass fire, which torched close to 67,500 acres and destroyed 1,555 structures, including damage to numerous wineries. Annual evacuations, smoke-filled skies and the existential threat posed by higher and drier temperatures have taken a toll. This year Covid-19 has compounded the impact on tourism, restaurants and labor, with losses from the crisis expected to total close to half a billion dollars.

Firefighters work on a vineyard to contain the Glass fire, which tore through the Napa region this summer. Photograph: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times/Rex/Shutterstock

Yet even with the risks, California’s wine industry is growing, with the market rising roughly 42% in retail value over the last decade. Napa has attracted a steady flow of newcomers who may not be willing to withstand the obstacles ahead. But many winemakers and growers, some with generational ties to the region and its industry, are counting on research, innovation and sheer determination in a race against the changing climate.

“We are resilient,” says Nicole Bacigalupi who runs Bacigalupi Vineyards with her twin sister, Katey.

Nicole Bacigalupi runs Bacigalupi Vineyards, a multi-generational wine operation. Photograph: Gabrielle Canon/The Guardian

Bacigalupi, the third generation in her family to farm the land, is finding ways to mitigate the threat of fires. Speaking under a giant oak tree, the sound of cow calls ring out from an adjacent pasture. The animals are there to help keep the vegetation down.

The vineyard is also building its own fire truck, she says, adding that a friend helped protect them when the Walbridge fire, which morphed into the sprawling LNU Lightning Complex fire, got close last month.

Bacigalupi admits that three terrifying fire seasons in a row have prompted tough questions about the future.

“You get to a point where you are so overwhelmed that you are not sure if it’s worth fighting for,” she says.


Can California’s top wine region survive the era of megafire?

T he Silverado Trail, a two-lane road that weaves through the bucolic hillsides in the heart of California’s wine country, is the quintessential vision of Napa Valley. Home to dozens of wineries, it is a destination within a destination – one that welcomes both vacationing imbibers and oenophiles from around the world.

But recently the amber hillsides have been laced with the ashen aftermath of wildfires that have torn through the region, leaving behind charred rubble that is fast becoming as much a part of the landscape as the neatly trussed rows of vines.

It is a sign of an increasingly uncertain future for the crown jewel of California’s $43bn wine industry – one in which vintners must adapt to a changing climate and increasingly unpredictable fire seasons in order to survive.

Devastating wildfires have pummeled Napa and Sonoma over the last five years, most recently this summer’s Glass fire, which torched close to 67,500 acres and destroyed 1,555 structures, including damage to numerous wineries. Annual evacuations, smoke-filled skies and the existential threat posed by higher and drier temperatures have taken a toll. This year Covid-19 has compounded the impact on tourism, restaurants and labor, with losses from the crisis expected to total close to half a billion dollars.

Firefighters work on a vineyard to contain the Glass fire, which tore through the Napa region this summer. Photograph: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times/Rex/Shutterstock

Yet even with the risks, California’s wine industry is growing, with the market rising roughly 42% in retail value over the last decade. Napa has attracted a steady flow of newcomers who may not be willing to withstand the obstacles ahead. But many winemakers and growers, some with generational ties to the region and its industry, are counting on research, innovation and sheer determination in a race against the changing climate.

“We are resilient,” says Nicole Bacigalupi who runs Bacigalupi Vineyards with her twin sister, Katey.

Nicole Bacigalupi runs Bacigalupi Vineyards, a multi-generational wine operation. Photograph: Gabrielle Canon/The Guardian

Bacigalupi, the third generation in her family to farm the land, is finding ways to mitigate the threat of fires. Speaking under a giant oak tree, the sound of cow calls ring out from an adjacent pasture. The animals are there to help keep the vegetation down.

The vineyard is also building its own fire truck, she says, adding that a friend helped protect them when the Walbridge fire, which morphed into the sprawling LNU Lightning Complex fire, got close last month.

Bacigalupi admits that three terrifying fire seasons in a row have prompted tough questions about the future.

“You get to a point where you are so overwhelmed that you are not sure if it’s worth fighting for,” she says.


Can California’s top wine region survive the era of megafire?

T he Silverado Trail, a two-lane road that weaves through the bucolic hillsides in the heart of California’s wine country, is the quintessential vision of Napa Valley. Home to dozens of wineries, it is a destination within a destination – one that welcomes both vacationing imbibers and oenophiles from around the world.

But recently the amber hillsides have been laced with the ashen aftermath of wildfires that have torn through the region, leaving behind charred rubble that is fast becoming as much a part of the landscape as the neatly trussed rows of vines.

It is a sign of an increasingly uncertain future for the crown jewel of California’s $43bn wine industry – one in which vintners must adapt to a changing climate and increasingly unpredictable fire seasons in order to survive.

Devastating wildfires have pummeled Napa and Sonoma over the last five years, most recently this summer’s Glass fire, which torched close to 67,500 acres and destroyed 1,555 structures, including damage to numerous wineries. Annual evacuations, smoke-filled skies and the existential threat posed by higher and drier temperatures have taken a toll. This year Covid-19 has compounded the impact on tourism, restaurants and labor, with losses from the crisis expected to total close to half a billion dollars.

Firefighters work on a vineyard to contain the Glass fire, which tore through the Napa region this summer. Photograph: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times/Rex/Shutterstock

Yet even with the risks, California’s wine industry is growing, with the market rising roughly 42% in retail value over the last decade. Napa has attracted a steady flow of newcomers who may not be willing to withstand the obstacles ahead. But many winemakers and growers, some with generational ties to the region and its industry, are counting on research, innovation and sheer determination in a race against the changing climate.

“We are resilient,” says Nicole Bacigalupi who runs Bacigalupi Vineyards with her twin sister, Katey.

Nicole Bacigalupi runs Bacigalupi Vineyards, a multi-generational wine operation. Photograph: Gabrielle Canon/The Guardian

Bacigalupi, the third generation in her family to farm the land, is finding ways to mitigate the threat of fires. Speaking under a giant oak tree, the sound of cow calls ring out from an adjacent pasture. The animals are there to help keep the vegetation down.

The vineyard is also building its own fire truck, she says, adding that a friend helped protect them when the Walbridge fire, which morphed into the sprawling LNU Lightning Complex fire, got close last month.

Bacigalupi admits that three terrifying fire seasons in a row have prompted tough questions about the future.

“You get to a point where you are so overwhelmed that you are not sure if it’s worth fighting for,” she says.


Can California’s top wine region survive the era of megafire?

T he Silverado Trail, a two-lane road that weaves through the bucolic hillsides in the heart of California’s wine country, is the quintessential vision of Napa Valley. Home to dozens of wineries, it is a destination within a destination – one that welcomes both vacationing imbibers and oenophiles from around the world.

But recently the amber hillsides have been laced with the ashen aftermath of wildfires that have torn through the region, leaving behind charred rubble that is fast becoming as much a part of the landscape as the neatly trussed rows of vines.

It is a sign of an increasingly uncertain future for the crown jewel of California’s $43bn wine industry – one in which vintners must adapt to a changing climate and increasingly unpredictable fire seasons in order to survive.

Devastating wildfires have pummeled Napa and Sonoma over the last five years, most recently this summer’s Glass fire, which torched close to 67,500 acres and destroyed 1,555 structures, including damage to numerous wineries. Annual evacuations, smoke-filled skies and the existential threat posed by higher and drier temperatures have taken a toll. This year Covid-19 has compounded the impact on tourism, restaurants and labor, with losses from the crisis expected to total close to half a billion dollars.

Firefighters work on a vineyard to contain the Glass fire, which tore through the Napa region this summer. Photograph: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times/Rex/Shutterstock

Yet even with the risks, California’s wine industry is growing, with the market rising roughly 42% in retail value over the last decade. Napa has attracted a steady flow of newcomers who may not be willing to withstand the obstacles ahead. But many winemakers and growers, some with generational ties to the region and its industry, are counting on research, innovation and sheer determination in a race against the changing climate.

“We are resilient,” says Nicole Bacigalupi who runs Bacigalupi Vineyards with her twin sister, Katey.

Nicole Bacigalupi runs Bacigalupi Vineyards, a multi-generational wine operation. Photograph: Gabrielle Canon/The Guardian

Bacigalupi, the third generation in her family to farm the land, is finding ways to mitigate the threat of fires. Speaking under a giant oak tree, the sound of cow calls ring out from an adjacent pasture. The animals are there to help keep the vegetation down.

The vineyard is also building its own fire truck, she says, adding that a friend helped protect them when the Walbridge fire, which morphed into the sprawling LNU Lightning Complex fire, got close last month.

Bacigalupi admits that three terrifying fire seasons in a row have prompted tough questions about the future.

“You get to a point where you are so overwhelmed that you are not sure if it’s worth fighting for,” she says.


Can California’s top wine region survive the era of megafire?

T he Silverado Trail, a two-lane road that weaves through the bucolic hillsides in the heart of California’s wine country, is the quintessential vision of Napa Valley. Home to dozens of wineries, it is a destination within a destination – one that welcomes both vacationing imbibers and oenophiles from around the world.

But recently the amber hillsides have been laced with the ashen aftermath of wildfires that have torn through the region, leaving behind charred rubble that is fast becoming as much a part of the landscape as the neatly trussed rows of vines.

It is a sign of an increasingly uncertain future for the crown jewel of California’s $43bn wine industry – one in which vintners must adapt to a changing climate and increasingly unpredictable fire seasons in order to survive.

Devastating wildfires have pummeled Napa and Sonoma over the last five years, most recently this summer’s Glass fire, which torched close to 67,500 acres and destroyed 1,555 structures, including damage to numerous wineries. Annual evacuations, smoke-filled skies and the existential threat posed by higher and drier temperatures have taken a toll. This year Covid-19 has compounded the impact on tourism, restaurants and labor, with losses from the crisis expected to total close to half a billion dollars.

Firefighters work on a vineyard to contain the Glass fire, which tore through the Napa region this summer. Photograph: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times/Rex/Shutterstock

Yet even with the risks, California’s wine industry is growing, with the market rising roughly 42% in retail value over the last decade. Napa has attracted a steady flow of newcomers who may not be willing to withstand the obstacles ahead. But many winemakers and growers, some with generational ties to the region and its industry, are counting on research, innovation and sheer determination in a race against the changing climate.

“We are resilient,” says Nicole Bacigalupi who runs Bacigalupi Vineyards with her twin sister, Katey.

Nicole Bacigalupi runs Bacigalupi Vineyards, a multi-generational wine operation. Photograph: Gabrielle Canon/The Guardian

Bacigalupi, the third generation in her family to farm the land, is finding ways to mitigate the threat of fires. Speaking under a giant oak tree, the sound of cow calls ring out from an adjacent pasture. The animals are there to help keep the vegetation down.

The vineyard is also building its own fire truck, she says, adding that a friend helped protect them when the Walbridge fire, which morphed into the sprawling LNU Lightning Complex fire, got close last month.

Bacigalupi admits that three terrifying fire seasons in a row have prompted tough questions about the future.

“You get to a point where you are so overwhelmed that you are not sure if it’s worth fighting for,” she says.


Can California’s top wine region survive the era of megafire?

T he Silverado Trail, a two-lane road that weaves through the bucolic hillsides in the heart of California’s wine country, is the quintessential vision of Napa Valley. Home to dozens of wineries, it is a destination within a destination – one that welcomes both vacationing imbibers and oenophiles from around the world.

But recently the amber hillsides have been laced with the ashen aftermath of wildfires that have torn through the region, leaving behind charred rubble that is fast becoming as much a part of the landscape as the neatly trussed rows of vines.

It is a sign of an increasingly uncertain future for the crown jewel of California’s $43bn wine industry – one in which vintners must adapt to a changing climate and increasingly unpredictable fire seasons in order to survive.

Devastating wildfires have pummeled Napa and Sonoma over the last five years, most recently this summer’s Glass fire, which torched close to 67,500 acres and destroyed 1,555 structures, including damage to numerous wineries. Annual evacuations, smoke-filled skies and the existential threat posed by higher and drier temperatures have taken a toll. This year Covid-19 has compounded the impact on tourism, restaurants and labor, with losses from the crisis expected to total close to half a billion dollars.

Firefighters work on a vineyard to contain the Glass fire, which tore through the Napa region this summer. Photograph: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times/Rex/Shutterstock

Yet even with the risks, California’s wine industry is growing, with the market rising roughly 42% in retail value over the last decade. Napa has attracted a steady flow of newcomers who may not be willing to withstand the obstacles ahead. But many winemakers and growers, some with generational ties to the region and its industry, are counting on research, innovation and sheer determination in a race against the changing climate.

“We are resilient,” says Nicole Bacigalupi who runs Bacigalupi Vineyards with her twin sister, Katey.

Nicole Bacigalupi runs Bacigalupi Vineyards, a multi-generational wine operation. Photograph: Gabrielle Canon/The Guardian

Bacigalupi, the third generation in her family to farm the land, is finding ways to mitigate the threat of fires. Speaking under a giant oak tree, the sound of cow calls ring out from an adjacent pasture. The animals are there to help keep the vegetation down.

The vineyard is also building its own fire truck, she says, adding that a friend helped protect them when the Walbridge fire, which morphed into the sprawling LNU Lightning Complex fire, got close last month.

Bacigalupi admits that three terrifying fire seasons in a row have prompted tough questions about the future.

“You get to a point where you are so overwhelmed that you are not sure if it’s worth fighting for,” she says.


Can California’s top wine region survive the era of megafire?

T he Silverado Trail, a two-lane road that weaves through the bucolic hillsides in the heart of California’s wine country, is the quintessential vision of Napa Valley. Home to dozens of wineries, it is a destination within a destination – one that welcomes both vacationing imbibers and oenophiles from around the world.

But recently the amber hillsides have been laced with the ashen aftermath of wildfires that have torn through the region, leaving behind charred rubble that is fast becoming as much a part of the landscape as the neatly trussed rows of vines.

It is a sign of an increasingly uncertain future for the crown jewel of California’s $43bn wine industry – one in which vintners must adapt to a changing climate and increasingly unpredictable fire seasons in order to survive.

Devastating wildfires have pummeled Napa and Sonoma over the last five years, most recently this summer’s Glass fire, which torched close to 67,500 acres and destroyed 1,555 structures, including damage to numerous wineries. Annual evacuations, smoke-filled skies and the existential threat posed by higher and drier temperatures have taken a toll. This year Covid-19 has compounded the impact on tourism, restaurants and labor, with losses from the crisis expected to total close to half a billion dollars.

Firefighters work on a vineyard to contain the Glass fire, which tore through the Napa region this summer. Photograph: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times/Rex/Shutterstock

Yet even with the risks, California’s wine industry is growing, with the market rising roughly 42% in retail value over the last decade. Napa has attracted a steady flow of newcomers who may not be willing to withstand the obstacles ahead. But many winemakers and growers, some with generational ties to the region and its industry, are counting on research, innovation and sheer determination in a race against the changing climate.

“We are resilient,” says Nicole Bacigalupi who runs Bacigalupi Vineyards with her twin sister, Katey.

Nicole Bacigalupi runs Bacigalupi Vineyards, a multi-generational wine operation. Photograph: Gabrielle Canon/The Guardian

Bacigalupi, the third generation in her family to farm the land, is finding ways to mitigate the threat of fires. Speaking under a giant oak tree, the sound of cow calls ring out from an adjacent pasture. The animals are there to help keep the vegetation down.

The vineyard is also building its own fire truck, she says, adding that a friend helped protect them when the Walbridge fire, which morphed into the sprawling LNU Lightning Complex fire, got close last month.

Bacigalupi admits that three terrifying fire seasons in a row have prompted tough questions about the future.

“You get to a point where you are so overwhelmed that you are not sure if it’s worth fighting for,” she says.


Can California’s top wine region survive the era of megafire?

T he Silverado Trail, a two-lane road that weaves through the bucolic hillsides in the heart of California’s wine country, is the quintessential vision of Napa Valley. Home to dozens of wineries, it is a destination within a destination – one that welcomes both vacationing imbibers and oenophiles from around the world.

But recently the amber hillsides have been laced with the ashen aftermath of wildfires that have torn through the region, leaving behind charred rubble that is fast becoming as much a part of the landscape as the neatly trussed rows of vines.

It is a sign of an increasingly uncertain future for the crown jewel of California’s $43bn wine industry – one in which vintners must adapt to a changing climate and increasingly unpredictable fire seasons in order to survive.

Devastating wildfires have pummeled Napa and Sonoma over the last five years, most recently this summer’s Glass fire, which torched close to 67,500 acres and destroyed 1,555 structures, including damage to numerous wineries. Annual evacuations, smoke-filled skies and the existential threat posed by higher and drier temperatures have taken a toll. This year Covid-19 has compounded the impact on tourism, restaurants and labor, with losses from the crisis expected to total close to half a billion dollars.

Firefighters work on a vineyard to contain the Glass fire, which tore through the Napa region this summer. Photograph: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times/Rex/Shutterstock

Yet even with the risks, California’s wine industry is growing, with the market rising roughly 42% in retail value over the last decade. Napa has attracted a steady flow of newcomers who may not be willing to withstand the obstacles ahead. But many winemakers and growers, some with generational ties to the region and its industry, are counting on research, innovation and sheer determination in a race against the changing climate.

“We are resilient,” says Nicole Bacigalupi who runs Bacigalupi Vineyards with her twin sister, Katey.

Nicole Bacigalupi runs Bacigalupi Vineyards, a multi-generational wine operation. Photograph: Gabrielle Canon/The Guardian

Bacigalupi, the third generation in her family to farm the land, is finding ways to mitigate the threat of fires. Speaking under a giant oak tree, the sound of cow calls ring out from an adjacent pasture. The animals are there to help keep the vegetation down.

The vineyard is also building its own fire truck, she says, adding that a friend helped protect them when the Walbridge fire, which morphed into the sprawling LNU Lightning Complex fire, got close last month.

Bacigalupi admits that three terrifying fire seasons in a row have prompted tough questions about the future.

“You get to a point where you are so overwhelmed that you are not sure if it’s worth fighting for,” she says.


Can California’s top wine region survive the era of megafire?

T he Silverado Trail, a two-lane road that weaves through the bucolic hillsides in the heart of California’s wine country, is the quintessential vision of Napa Valley. Home to dozens of wineries, it is a destination within a destination – one that welcomes both vacationing imbibers and oenophiles from around the world.

But recently the amber hillsides have been laced with the ashen aftermath of wildfires that have torn through the region, leaving behind charred rubble that is fast becoming as much a part of the landscape as the neatly trussed rows of vines.

It is a sign of an increasingly uncertain future for the crown jewel of California’s $43bn wine industry – one in which vintners must adapt to a changing climate and increasingly unpredictable fire seasons in order to survive.

Devastating wildfires have pummeled Napa and Sonoma over the last five years, most recently this summer’s Glass fire, which torched close to 67,500 acres and destroyed 1,555 structures, including damage to numerous wineries. Annual evacuations, smoke-filled skies and the existential threat posed by higher and drier temperatures have taken a toll. This year Covid-19 has compounded the impact on tourism, restaurants and labor, with losses from the crisis expected to total close to half a billion dollars.

Firefighters work on a vineyard to contain the Glass fire, which tore through the Napa region this summer. Photograph: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times/Rex/Shutterstock

Yet even with the risks, California’s wine industry is growing, with the market rising roughly 42% in retail value over the last decade. Napa has attracted a steady flow of newcomers who may not be willing to withstand the obstacles ahead. But many winemakers and growers, some with generational ties to the region and its industry, are counting on research, innovation and sheer determination in a race against the changing climate.

“We are resilient,” says Nicole Bacigalupi who runs Bacigalupi Vineyards with her twin sister, Katey.

Nicole Bacigalupi runs Bacigalupi Vineyards, a multi-generational wine operation. Photograph: Gabrielle Canon/The Guardian

Bacigalupi, the third generation in her family to farm the land, is finding ways to mitigate the threat of fires. Speaking under a giant oak tree, the sound of cow calls ring out from an adjacent pasture. The animals are there to help keep the vegetation down.

The vineyard is also building its own fire truck, she says, adding that a friend helped protect them when the Walbridge fire, which morphed into the sprawling LNU Lightning Complex fire, got close last month.

Bacigalupi admits that three terrifying fire seasons in a row have prompted tough questions about the future.

“You get to a point where you are so overwhelmed that you are not sure if it’s worth fighting for,” she says.


Can California’s top wine region survive the era of megafire?

T he Silverado Trail, a two-lane road that weaves through the bucolic hillsides in the heart of California’s wine country, is the quintessential vision of Napa Valley. Home to dozens of wineries, it is a destination within a destination – one that welcomes both vacationing imbibers and oenophiles from around the world.

But recently the amber hillsides have been laced with the ashen aftermath of wildfires that have torn through the region, leaving behind charred rubble that is fast becoming as much a part of the landscape as the neatly trussed rows of vines.

It is a sign of an increasingly uncertain future for the crown jewel of California’s $43bn wine industry – one in which vintners must adapt to a changing climate and increasingly unpredictable fire seasons in order to survive.

Devastating wildfires have pummeled Napa and Sonoma over the last five years, most recently this summer’s Glass fire, which torched close to 67,500 acres and destroyed 1,555 structures, including damage to numerous wineries. Annual evacuations, smoke-filled skies and the existential threat posed by higher and drier temperatures have taken a toll. This year Covid-19 has compounded the impact on tourism, restaurants and labor, with losses from the crisis expected to total close to half a billion dollars.

Firefighters work on a vineyard to contain the Glass fire, which tore through the Napa region this summer. Photograph: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times/Rex/Shutterstock

Yet even with the risks, California’s wine industry is growing, with the market rising roughly 42% in retail value over the last decade. Napa has attracted a steady flow of newcomers who may not be willing to withstand the obstacles ahead. But many winemakers and growers, some with generational ties to the region and its industry, are counting on research, innovation and sheer determination in a race against the changing climate.

“We are resilient,” says Nicole Bacigalupi who runs Bacigalupi Vineyards with her twin sister, Katey.

Nicole Bacigalupi runs Bacigalupi Vineyards, a multi-generational wine operation. Photograph: Gabrielle Canon/The Guardian

Bacigalupi, the third generation in her family to farm the land, is finding ways to mitigate the threat of fires. Speaking under a giant oak tree, the sound of cow calls ring out from an adjacent pasture. The animals are there to help keep the vegetation down.

The vineyard is also building its own fire truck, she says, adding that a friend helped protect them when the Walbridge fire, which morphed into the sprawling LNU Lightning Complex fire, got close last month.

Bacigalupi admits that three terrifying fire seasons in a row have prompted tough questions about the future.

“You get to a point where you are so overwhelmed that you are not sure if it’s worth fighting for,” she says.