This content is not available in your region

Shattered dreams: costly quake for Napa wineries

Shattered dreams: costly quake for Napa wineries
Text size Aa Aa

In California’s Napa Valley wine country they have been crying over spilt wine, clearing up and counting the cost of a magnitude 6.0 earthquake that has dealt a severe blow to many in the industry.

Bottles and barrels came crashing down and the losses will likely run into the billions.

Raul Gopez, General Manager of the Smith Anderson Wine Group, said they have not yet started to calculate: “It would probably be in the terrible range. there’s some significant damage, the thing is the monetary value of the inventory you can replace, but some of our wines are collections.”

That is private collectors’ rare wines, irreplaceable and in some cases worth hundreds of dollars a bottle.

Many vintners, have lost their so-called libraries, where they kept examples of all the wines they have ever produced.

Dave Graves, the co-founder of Saintsbury winery, said: “We lost a lot of our library wines. We probably lost about 500 bottles of wine, some of which are irreplaceable, that fell and broke.”

Graves added: “I think it’s the worst damage sustained by our winery. It’s also probably the most severe earthquake that’s happened to the Napa wine industry, maybe in decades.”

However, the timing of the quake could have been much worse.

Wineries will escape major production setbacks as this happened after the 2013 vintage had been bottled and sent off for delivery but before most of this season’s grapes were ready to be picked.

With AP and Reuters