The 6.0-magnitude earthquake that struck the San Francisco Bay Area early yesterday morning stands to devastate the local wine economy. The quake's epicenter was in Napa Valley, home to more than 500 vineyards, and while it is far too soon to estimate the wine-country-specific damage, numerous photos of wrecked storage rooms and punctured barrels, not to mention general reports from producers, are starting to come in, and the situation looks grim.
In addition to vineyards and other industry-side facilities, wine bars, retail outlets, and restaurants lost inventory during the earthquake. Barrels storing last year's grapes tumbled to the floors, breaking open, while bottles in cellars or on store shelves fell to the floor. One business owner estimated a loss of "'at least' $15,000 to $20,000 of wine inventory," while another, whose cellar holds an estimated $1 million of inventory, said "99 percent" of the inventory was left intact. One distributor who was holding 80,000 cases said his damage was just one bottle of wine. In the case of Silver Oak Winery, several bottles of "irreplaceable" wine were destroyed.
Structural damage remains a separate issue — in one case, a winery's water tank became untethered, which will delay this year's production, which is already hampered by drought. In the images below, each barrel you see damaged or destroyed is the equivalent of 25 cases, or 300 bottles of wine.
An online forum has been created for winemakers in need of help navigating the recovery process.
More scary photos of barrel destruction in Napa. Wine leaking all over the floor! pic.twitter.com/zf1fD9htFr— Maureen Downey (@moevino) August 25, 2014
Man surveys fallen wine barrels after the magnitude 6.0 quake in Napa, California. (Photo via Reuters) pic.twitter.com/lyrrugEb5Q— ABS-CBN News Channel (@ANCALERTS) August 25, 2014
Keep our friends in Napa in mind. go out and buy a bottle of Naps wine for dinner tonight. They don't deserve this. pic.twitter.com/jIiCSmoqU7— Adam Lee (@SiduriWines) August 24, 2014
What a shot of quake damage in Napa wine country. pic.twitter.com/3zapEL8dJE— Troy Hayden (@troyhaydenfox10) August 24, 2014
I'm happy all my napa peeps are safe but the earthquake wine destruction is breaking my heart pic.twitter.com/9zRPXB6h9X— Cortney Pagano (@ccpag828) August 24, 2014
Cult Wine Bar will be ok! Downtown Napa got hit pretty bad! Keep u posted when we open back up pic.twitter.com/IjNqrYNGk6— Charles Woodson Wine (@TwentyFourWines) August 24, 2014
It's not just wine.
Napa restaurants assess the Northern California earthquake damage [Inside Scoop SF]
A Big Earthquake Hit Northern California This Morning [Daily Intelligencer]