This last week the California State Firefighter Association (CSFA) Conference was held in Healdsburg, CA. It was a great conference in the wine country of Sonoma where firefighters received great training, networking, sharing ideas, and classes for California fire service personnel. I’m pushing to have it in the Coachella Valley next year!

Coincidentally, September is National Wine Awareness Month. Wine has become so vital to California, that it deserves a whole month. And did you know in California, wine country tours are second only to Disneyland in popularity with tourists! According to the California Wine Institute, more than 14 million people visit the California wine regions each year.

There’s a lot of talk on the health benefits of wine, but before you crack open that bottle and toast to your good health, here is what the experts.

Is wine fattening? Actually, researchers say they’ve found a compound in red wine and grapes that block immature fat cells’ ability to develop and grow.  “I can dispute that,” says Chief DiGiovanna. “My fat cells seem to be maturing!”  There’s research on the heart health benefits of a daily glass (or two) of red wine, as they say wine lowers blood pressure. Now who checks their blood pressure when drinking wine?


The Greek physician Hippocrates considered wine a part of a healthy diet, and advocated its use as a disinfectant for wounds. I have several friends who are Hypocrites and could use some disinfecting from my life!

Some studies suggest that grape juice may provide some of the same heart benefits of red wine, including reducing the risk of blood clots, reducing so-called bad cholesterol, and preventing damage to blood vessels in the heart. Grape juice or wine? That’s an easy one!

One thing is important – Always drink responsibly!

Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

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