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Multiple fires broke out Sunday night as strong winds buffeted the area. Photo: Peter DaSilva

Several raging wind-whipped fires forced evacuations Monday in California's famed wine country.

Mandatory evacuations were ordered near Calistoga in Sonoma County, located about 75 miles north of San Francisco, KTVU reported.

“After 20 years making wine in California I am very pleased I chose Sonoma,” - Pierre Seillan.

This year’s vintage in California will rate as one of the greatest of the past 20 years, according to Vérité winemaker Pierre Seillan.

Speaking in London on Monday this week about the conditions in Sonoma County, the source region for Vérité’s triumvirate of wines made from Bordeaux grapes, Seillan said that 2017 was a “great” vintage, adding that he would place it in quality terms among the “top five vintages of the past 20 years”.

A bin of Grenache grapes arrives on the crush pad at Tablas Creek Vineyard in Paso Robles, CA.

Heat, humidity and labor throw obstacles in the way for Central Coast harvest season.

After a summer of widely favorable growing conditions, farmers and vintners across the Paso Robles AVA face the effects of a prolonged Labor Day heat wave followed by unseasonal humidity and rain, all of which may force a squeeze on limited labor resources

The total volume across the whole of the EU for the 2017 harvest is estimated to reach 145 million hectolitres, a reduction of -14% on the level recorded last year.

Extreme weather, including heavy hailstorms, hard frosts and drought, has pushed the EU wine grape harvest to an historical low in 2017, the EU department for Agriculture and Rural Development has revealed.

While the Cabernet is yet to be picked, early signs suggest yields are down this year. Photo: Discover France

The 2017 grape harvest in Bordeaux didn't start well.

In late April this year, Nicolas Glumineau, managing director of Château Pichon Lalande, was on a flight to New York with a group of other classed-growth owners and winemakers. All was cheerfulness – until a message pinged onto a phone. Then another. Then another. Faces grew long, and longer. Back in Bordeaux there had been frost – potentially devastating frost.