Getty Images

As of Oct 12, the death count of California's wildfires had risen up to at least 23 people. The disaster devastated northern California for four days — however, firefighters are no closer to any end point.

The number of fires has also risen from 17 to 22 with approximately 170,000 acres currently burning. Around 1,500 homes and businesses have already been destroyed and if the over 30 mph winds don't stop, much more will be too.

This wildfire has impacted the lives of thousands of people — what will it mean for the wine business?

Getty Images

As of Oct 11, around 30 commercial wine businesses have been damaged or destroyed including the Signorello Estate, Fountaingrove Inn and Round Barn, William Hill Estate Winery and many more.

The wine industry already withstands many difficulties like — too much frost to too much heat, and grapes can also be damaged by an abundance or deficiency of rain, insects, disease, mold and fungus.

However, added onto these wildfires, drastic changes could be coming to the wine business very soon.

Napa Valley Vintners, a trade association, recently delivered a press release: "We are assessing information on how the fires might affect the 2017 harvest and the wine industry specifically, but it will be some time before we have any specific information along these lines. It should be noted that the majority of Napa Valley's grapes were picked before the fires started [Sunday] night."

If the majority of grapes weren't harmed, there can still be damages — endless amounts of aging or stored wines, barrels and tanks could be destroyed in these wildfires. Business plans, recipes, machinery directions — all gone.

These fires are burning up heaps of capital

Getty Images

In a recent San Francisco Chronicle article, Esther Mobley writes, "[The wildfires] could mark a severe shortage of grapes for years to come. When vineyards are planted, it can take three to five years for them to bear fruit."

Even more devastating effects could weigh down on small wine businesses — those who don't own warehouses or vineyards, but make wines in communal spaces. Their entire stocks could be depleted.

However, even if it takes a while, recovery will come. Meanwhile, chief executive officer and president of WineCounty Media, Michael Cann, says that we can

restimulate local economy by increasing travel and tourism. In the end, human resilience will always win out.
PayPath
Follow Us on

Airbnb is a great option while traveling, but you should protect yourself from damage charges from unscrupulous hosts.

Airbnb offers an affordable option for people looking to be more comfortable as they travel.

However, there are downsides to staying in a host's home rather than a hotel. Whereas hotels are designed for constant streams of visitors and often have furniture built to last, at an Airbnb, you may be staying on old or cheap furniture that a host is using in order to maximize their profits.

And while most reputable hotels will have regular room inspections from staff to check for any wear and tear, Airbnb damage disputes are oftentimes he said, she said situations. If you are in an Airbnb and something breaks, there are a few steps you should take in order to ensure that you are not on the hook for damages out of your control.

Keep reading Show less

What Are NFTs?

Art Installation N°1 by Carlos Marcial. Rhett Dashwood / YouTube

If you're keeping tabs on the art and tech worlds, you've probably been hearing whispers about "NFTs" for the past month. Just over the past week they've entered the mainstream lexicon.

Twitter founder Jack Dorsey made the news for selling his first ever tweet. The app has been teasing paid subscription models and newsletter-like features, but tweets for sale is "the next frontier."

The 2006 tweet went up for auction as an NFT, and the current bid is $2.5 Million. But what does it mean to own that? Why would anyone want to? And what even is an NFT?

Keep reading Show less

Long gone are the days when the majority of Americans dreamed about owning a home with a white picket fence.

The traditional American Dream may be on its deathbed, but that doesn't mean a core component of the vision can't survive. It simply takes a diverse perspective. People can still believe they can attain their own vision of success in society with hard work, knowledge, and risk-taking. Investing in today's American Dream may literally mean investing money in our modern economy, starting with our infrastructure.

Real estate investing in particular is a lucrative method that can boost income and secure a better financial future for many. There's always risk involved, but the payoffs can far outweigh the uncertainty. Selecting solid financial investments is about confidence and competence. If you're looking for some advice on this kind of investment, here are a few savvy tips for new real estate investors.

Stick To a Specific Strategy or Niche

Real estate is a challenging sphere of the business world, one that requires several key skills: groundwork knowledge, networking, perseverance, and organization. True knowledge of the real estate market will come with time and experience, but it's a smart idea to select one area of the market and stick to it. This is the best way to attain in-depth familiarity with your specific niche.

First, choose a geographical area close by and then a niche strategy within it, such as house flips, rental rehabs, or residential or commercial properties. By doing so, you can become aware of current inner working conditions in the market and you'll have a better idea of how these trends may change in the future.

Be Vigilant About Viable Financing Options

While it takes money to make money, you don't have to use all your own money. A common misconception about real estate investing is that you must be wealthy to start off. This isn't straight fact, however. A majority of people can test the waters of real estate investing without a lot of initial cash in their pocket.

Aside from traditional financing options from banks and institutions, private lending options can be worthy solutions. Hard money lenders are popular, reasonable choices, and they tend to have fewer qualification requirements upfront. However, be sure to strategically choose a hard money lender to find the best possible fit.

Master the Art of Finding Good Deals

There may be hundreds of thousands of available properties for sale on the current market, but the bulk of them will never amount to the final money-making result you desire. Another great tip for new real estate investors is to use good math to estimate profit. Taking risks is part of the process, but you have the ability to analyze properties and use networking sources to find the greatest deal. You can't win every deal, but you can steadily work towards a thriving financial future.