Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Napa earthquake not expected to affect overall wine stocks

Published:  26 August, 2014

Last week's earthquake in Napa is not expected to impact the region's overall wine stocks, despite a number of wineries in the region suffering large scale damage.

The Napa Valley Vintners association is continuing to collate information about the 6.1 earthquake's damage, but says there are no reports of winery staff being injured and that vineyards were not affected. Most wineries are still open for business.

The group said: "For those who did suffer equipment or facility damage, there are resources available to secure temporary tanks and other production equipment to help them get through the next few weeks. The spirit of collaboration for which the Napa Valley is known is expected to prevail, even for those who did suffer damage."

The association will act as a "centralised resource" for its 500 members, and will send bulletins with the latest information on earthquake resources, as well as adding an earthquake relief section to its online forum to make it easier for wineries to assist each other.

The NVV is also planning a workshop later this week to help those affected by the earthquake.

The group said its immediate priority remains the "health and wellbeing of those in the community": More than 200 were treated for injuries at Queen of the Valley Medical Center; another 200 were offered aid from the Red Cross; dozens of buildings and homes have been declared dangerous following the incident; and many neighbourhoods are still without water and gas.

James Caudill, director of Public Relations and Hospitality at Napa's The Hess Collection, told it sustained some "severe" damage.

Hess Collection quake damageNapa's Hess Collection sustained some 'severe damage'Two 20,000 gallon tanks ruptured during the quake, with a number of others suffering damage, said the Hess Collection's James Caudill.

"We had damage in our Mount Veeder winery, including two 20,000 gallon thanks which ruptured, spilling the wine into our center courtyard, where the ground now runs.  Barrels and case goods toppled, and some barrels smashed into windows in our Visitors Center gift shop, breaking them."

Caudill added that the group lost around 2,000 cases of 2013 Hess Collection Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon ($60 per 75 cl) and some 12,500 cases of 2013 Hess Select North Coast Cabernet Sauvignon ($18 per 75 cl).

Caudill went on to say the group was "quite grateful no one was hurt" and was working to assure damaged tanks were secured in the event of aftershocks as it prepared to move on from "craziness of an unexpected earthquake to the welcome craziness of harvest".

For a fuller account of damage sustained at the Hess Collection, see our opinion section.

The Wine Institute of California said that affected wineries were "busy assessing damage and cleaning up toppled barrels and broken glass to make room for incoming grapes from the 2014 harvest which is just getting underway".

It added that since most wineries in Napa Valley are north of the earthquake's epicenter, around Yountville, St. Helena and Calistoga, damage and disruption seems to be "minimal".

The Institute confirmed that while "some affected wineries may experience loss of inventory, the earthquake will not have an impact on the overall supply of California wines."

Has your wine business been affected by the Napa earthquake? Get in touch by emailing Gemma McKenna, commenting below or on Twitter @HarpersWine.