Burned Winery Reopens Nearly A Year After Fire

By: Rowena Li Email
By: Rowena Li Email
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Welcoming customers back to their winery is something Mick and Loretta McDowell have been dreaming of for the past 345 days.

"I'm really just looking forward to seeing a lot of those people that had become good customers, and they've really become a friend. So it's going to be exciting to see those people again and to be able to serve a lot more people, and let them enjoy what we enjoy here with the view and the good wine," said Loretta.

On June 23, 2012, a fire destroyed Miletta Vista Winery and the McDowell's home below it. Soon after, they began rebuilding, and on Friday, they reopened their doors.

"Sometimes it's still a little overwhelming to see what happened. But you move forward and with that knowledge that we were very, very fortunate," Loretta said.

The owners said hope and encouragement from the community, in-person and over Facebook, has been crucial to their comeback.

"It sent so many signals, that we like your product, we like your view, we like your wine, we enjoy the service your staff gives us. It's like, we want to come back! And that makes you feel really good," said Mick.

The new winery has a bigger tasting room along with a special heritage, with a total capacity of 100. Once the deck and patio are completely finished, they'll be able to seat another 100.

"You know it really feels good. I think part of it is just getting back into the routine of running a business, and that's a good feeling," said Loretta.

There's still some work to do though before the entire winery is ready.

"There's a long way to go. We have a lot of work to do to get the wine production area ready for harvest which starts in about 10 weeks," said Mick.

The official grand reopening is scheduled for July 12, 2013.


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