California Endures More Blackouts; PG&E Tower Gets Scrutiny in Fire

Seavey’s tractor driven generator, used to power production during harvest through unprecedented PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoffs, earns a feature in the New York Times.

Erin Wegner tended the wine tanks during a blackout at Seavey Vineyard in the Napa Valley. Credit…Brian L. Frank for The New York Times

Jim Duane, winemaker at Seavey Vineyard in St. Helena, in the Napa Valley, was powering the winery with a generator off a diesel-run tractor. It cannot run everything, so Mr. Duane had to prioritize.

The outage could not have come at a worse time. “It’s the peak of harvest,” he said. “The winery is full of grapes in the tank,” and the available power “is going to the grapes.”

Jessica Rose set a table for a tasting in the dark to save power at Seavey Vineyard. Credit…Brian L. Frank for The New York Times

Seavey has 40 acres planted. After the grapes have been picked, the vineyard needs power to process them and irrigate. After the last outage, Mr. Duane said, the winery filled a 400-gallon tank with water. That should be sufficient unless a power shut-off lasts five days or more, which “could be devastating,” he said.


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