The California Quake May Cost Wine Country Billions

2 minute read

Financial damage from the earthquake that rattled California’s Napa Valley on Sunday may barrel from hundreds of millions of dollars of immediate property damage to billions in total economic losses, Reuters reports.

On top of more than 200 people injured, around 50 buildings in the city of Napa — the famed wine region’s economic hub — were deemed unsafe to enter following the 6.0-magnitude quake. The temblor was the fiercest to hit the state’s Bay Area in 25 years, Reuters says.

Disaster-modeling firm CoreLogic estimated that the total insured economic losses to the region could range from $500 million to $1 billion; but as only 6% of local homes are estimated to have earthquake coverage, according to the Insurance Information Institute in New York City, the total bill is likely to be much higher.

While Napa’s 2014 vintage is still slated for great things, a large amount of stock was destroyed by the quake. “It’s a big mess right now,” Rick Ruiz, operations director for the wine retailer TwentyFour Wines, told Reuters. “It’s a logistical nightmare.”

However, wine buffs need not totally despair, as the timing of the quake was in fact somewhat fortuitous — coming after the 2013 vintage had been dispatched for delivery but before most of the current year’s grape harvest was picked.


See the Devastation After Northern California's Earthquake Up Close

6.0 Earthquake Rattles Northern California
A building is seen destroyed following a reported 6.0 earthquake on Aug. 24, 2014 in Napa, Calif. Justin Sullivan—Getty Images
6.0 magnitude earthquake hits northern California
A California Highway Patrol officer redirects traffic from a buckled section of California's Highway 12 near Sonoma, Calif.Peter DaSilva—EPA
California Earthquake
A reporter in front of the damaged Vintners Collective multi-winery tasting room in Napa, Calif. Eric Risberg—AP
6.0 Earthquake Rattles Northern California
Napa County firefighters spray foam on hot spots from a fire at a mobile home park following the earthquake, in Napa, Calif. Justin Sullivan—Getty Images
APTOPIX California Earthquake
Nina Quidit cleans up the Dollar Plus and Party Supplies Store in American Canyon Calif.Alex Washburn—AP
6.0 Earthquake Rattles Northern California
Workers clean up piles of bottles that were thrown from the shelves at Van's Liquors in Napa, Calif.Justin Sullivan—Getty Images
California Earthquake
Olive oil and vinegar seeps from Lucero Olive Oil's tasting room in Napa, Calif.Noah Berger—AP
6.0 Earthquake Rattles Northern California
A pedestrian walks by a mobile home that shifted off of its foundation in Napa, Calif. Justin Sullivan—Getty Images

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