FACT IN FICTION
BURDEN OF PROOF:
Death by asphyxiation due to CO2 exposure is a real risk in the wine business- and in breweries and soda plants as well. A natural byproduct of fermentation, CO2 deprives the brain of oxygen.
Tanks are cleaned in late December. Product is first drained from the top valve to avoid dirt in bottom of the tank. Then the lower valve is used to pump out the remainder and finally, the door opened to clean out any residue and hide bodies if needed. Empty tanks won't be filled again until the September "crush."
Red Rooster is a brand of agricultural products which include the secateur used in harvesting the grapes.
Real life saponification - NOT for the faint of heart!
Sonoma State Anthropologist- From Sonoma Sheriff Detective Mitch Mana ”We have an agreement with Sonoma State University-Anthropology Department. On one case of found bones accompanied by expended rifle casings, she cancelled one of her classes to drive out to the scene for an examination.” Turned out to be just ordinary hunting debris.
Religions- are as varied and plentiful as there are people on the earth. And many, too, are misunderstood. For example, a common misconception of Paganism is that they practice animal sacrifice. But their belief system is based on the worship of nature, and honor the lives of animals as dearly as their own.
Backyard vineyards do exist. We saw these in neighborhoods everywhere.
Hilldale Winery was modeled after the real Sunny Acres in St. Helena - a beautiful bed & breakfast surrounded by Salvestrin Winery’s vineyards, where I stayed during part of my research trip.
Sonoma Town Square is in the heart of downtown Sonoma, surrounded by shops and restaurants- real ones like the girl & the fig and El Dorado Kitchen and, in BLOOD VINES, the fictional The Golden Bow jewelry store.
There are over 250 wineries in Sonoma County- including the Seghesio Family Winery in operation since 1895 (Ch.61). There are over 300 in Napa county, among them the modern, boutique Fleury Winery, (Ch. 63). But you won’t find Red Crest WInery on the map.
Two Brothers Vineyard- while this vineyard and the Sommer Family Winery are fiction, the removal of ancient vines infested with phylloxera is real. The California wine industry was nearly wiped out by the aphid in the early 1990s.
Kenwood Inn Day Spa- there really are no cell phones allowed, but their attendants are much more gracious than “Helga” was in BLOOD VINES.