PASO ROBLES, Calif. - The devastating fires in northern California and their impact on the North Coast wine country is being seen here in the Central Coast wine region.
While not trying to capitalize on the misfortune of their northern colleagues, local winemakers are starting to see more visitors who might otherwise have gone to Napa, Sonoma or Mendocino.
At the Treana-Austin Hope Winery in the heart of the Paso Robles wine region, business has been a bit more brisk than usual especially during the week.
"Definitely there's been multiple people that have said they've come here because they didn't want to go to the North Coast", said winemaker Austin Hope, "which actually is sad because most of the wineries are still open."
"We arrived on Saturday and the fires started on Sunday", said Kansas City resident Kathy French who had planned to spend her trip in the North Coast wine country but headed south instead, "we've never been to this area but we don't forget those people in the Napa and Sonoma area."
The North Coast wine country industry has launched a major marketing campaign to remind everyone its open for business and its business as usual despite the fires.
While there may be a marginal benefit to Central Coast winemakers, they remain steadfast in their support of their colleagues in need up north.
"We're a tight knit group, its a different industry than most", Austin Hope said, "Most of it is families that started out as farmers and then we started making wine so we all know each other, to a certain extent, we compete, yeah we compete but on a different level, right."
Participating wineries in the Paso Robles region are donating one dollar from every bottle of wine sold through the end of October to charities helping those affected by the northern California fires.