The fires that burned over 200,000 acres of land in Northern California almost seemed like a sick, sad punctuation mark on a summer that already saw the United States rocked by major natural disasters. Normally I’d be writing about what to drink for fall and consider it a welcome relief from a summer flush with cheap rosé, but any other subject for a wine column seems almost irresponsibly trivial; it would be bad taste to talk about damage to wineries when there is the real human cost to consider. So far, only 11 wineries have sustained major damage, though with 42 people dead, over 7,000 structures burned, and countless losses to livelihoods, properties and jobs bring the damage not quite to the point of devastation for the industry, but well past the point of ruin for the people working in it.
So I won’t presume to be capable of assessing the damage here today, or coming up with any kind of immediate solutions to the harm that has been done to the American wine industry; the coming stalls and depletions, the questions of smoke taint or the recoverability of vines or fermentations occurring at the wrong temperatures, or even the darker issues of the sentimentality behind a history erased. Those are trivial things, because the craft of winemaking, the brands we like to drink and even the wine culture that defines us mean nothing when people are hurt and in trouble. And there is already a greater darkness in a billion-dollar wine and tourism industry that barely provided the housing and support for vineyard workers, restaurant employees and blue-collar society to begin with; a darkness only exacerbated by the fires, not created by them.
So consider our impact and our power. Work in a restaurant or retail wine program? Think of the positivity that can be done by getting behind a wine from Napa or Sonoma and making it thrive. Run a restaurant wine program? Maybe add another by-the-glass pour from an affected area. Maybe donate the profits from one of those pours to a relief effort. Move cases. When the time to rebuild happens, the groundwork for the funds to do so  will already be in place. And if you simply enjoy drinking wine, consider buying a bottle from the North Coast. Make it count, because the wines of the home country are always precious, and because there are so many amazing and talented people making it (not to mention selling and serving it) who need our help right now.

Even though there are 11 wineries destroyed, the network of damage has spiderwebbed out to affect almost everyone. Here are some wines that I have noticed are visibly dedicated not just to affected vineyard land, but to prominent efforts to provide support and relief.

Hirsch wines are, by their very nature, small-production and hard to come by in New Mexico. They are already sold out of their latest vintage on the website, and what few cases are left in the state are selling fast. Local fine-dining restaurant Arroyo Vino hosted Jasmine Hirsch as a guest of honor at an auction dinner that raised almost $10,000 in support of fire relief, and the winery has been a visible advocate for many efforts to rebuild. David Hirsch has been growing grapes on a volcanic fault line adjacent to the Pacific Ocean in the farthest extreme of the Sonoma Coast, and his line of pinot noirs reflect a profound meditation on California terroir. This 2015 San Andreas Fault pinot noir ($66) reflects a blend of different soil parcels, vinified separately and crafted into something truly sublime.

Lioco is rooted in more than one aspect of the California wine industry. The lovechild of Matthew Licklider and Kevin O'Connor (a wine importer and the former wine director at Spago, respectively), Lioco has always been intimately tied both to the reputed vineyards from which they source their fruit and the extensive network of restaurants that support their wines. The support and outreach for which Lioco has advocated, not to mention the events and deals and donations that the winery has developed since the fires began, has been remarkable and commendable. And their wines are incredibly unique, neither would-be dupes for European originals or homogenous examples of an all-American "house style," but something else entirely—almost crystal-clear interpretations of classic grape varieties. Their entry-level Sonoma County chardonnay ($24) is entirely unoaked and scintillatingly transparent, all lemon and mineral, full of grace.

Both vines and the old farmhouse at Robert Sinskey vineyards have burned to the ground, though the damage is not all-consuming. Still, this is a winery that would benefit deeply from very direct support. The estate grown 2013 Point of View ($34) is a Right Bank Bordeaux style blend crafted from biodynamically farmed land in Los Carneros. A staunch supporter of sustainable viticulture and outspoken advocate for environmental activism, this winery is fighting the good fight in more ways than one these days. Fruity but earthy, the POV needs time and air to open up, but with patience this wine reveals its complex charms.