Vineyard manager helps save historic estate while his own home burned


NAPA COUNTY, Calif. (NewsNation Now) — The manager of a historic vineyard in Napa Valley helped first responders save the estate while his own home burned in the Glass Fire.

“We have a lot of history on the property,” said Spring Mountain Vineyard manager Ron Rosenbrand. “Our owner brought four separate parcels and they’re all historic. So it meant a lot to try and save that history so it didn’t just go up in smoke.”

Rosenbrand has been managing Spring Mountain Vineyard for nearly 20 years. Friday, 95% of the vines and the property’s signature mansion remain intact.

While the Glass Fire ravaged seven buildings on the property Sunday night, Rosenbrand risked his life by rushing to point out historical structures to multiple out-of-town crews.

“And it was blazing,” Rosenbrand said. “I mean the wind gusts that night were between 50-60 miles an hour. The embers were blowing everywhere like a thunderstorm of rain but it was all Fire.

The flames came within 15-feet of the mansion, which dates back to the 1880s and was featured in the 1980s TV series Falcon Crest. It was saved by a strike team with crews from several cities including Burbank and San Luis Obispo. They were back Friday to check for any hot spots.

Team members said they wouldn’t have known about the historical structures if not for Rosenbrand’s insistence that they save them.

“We didn’t realize the significance of the mansion in there,” Burbank battalion chief Kenet Robertson said. “Actually, it’s very tucked away. If you don’t get on the property, you don’t see it at all.”

While Rosenbrand was trying to save the winery, no one was looking out for his home just half a mile away.

“Our home burned to the ground and there’s nothing left. But you know, my family got out safely, everybody’s healthy and strong. I’m thankful,” he said.

Rosenbrand said this year’s harvest is lost due to smoke damage, but the vines should be back next year when Spring Mountain hopes to welcome visitors again.

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