Cost of a Quake for Wine Country: $1 billion?

Wine bottleIt’s even worse than a bull in a china shop — an earthquake approaching an industry made up of glass bottles and wooden shelves!

The August 24 earthquake that hit northern California caused damages and injuries that may cost Napa Valley as much as $1 billion overall — but the cost to the region’s wineries may well be incalculable.

Napa Valley produces 17% of the nation’s wine, and is home to many prized vintages — which were claimed by the 6.0 quake, impossible to replace.

Other staggering losses:

  • The Laird Family Estate lost enough wine to fill a swimming pool.
  • Napa Barrel Care — which stores wine for five wineries — had 100 barrels (equivalent of about 300 bottles of wine) fall off shelves, crashing to the ground.
  • Three barrels of wine at Silver Oak Winery were damaged, costing an estimated $100,000 of a premier vintage.

There is one bit of good news amid all the quake damage, though: the grapes for this year’s bottles remained on the vines, ensuring 2014 won’t be a scarce year, known as a rare vintage, in the future!

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