The 6.0-magnitude earthquake that struck Northern California on Sunday, the strongest in the region in 25 years, was a nightmare for winemakers in the state’s famous Napa Valley area. Thousands of wine bottles and barrels were broken as a result of the earthquake, spilling gallons upon gallons of wine, the economic lifeblood for many in the area.
“It’s devastating. I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Tom Montgomery, a winemaker for B.R. Cohn Winery in Glen Ellen, California. The winery, which focuses on high-end wines that sell for between $40 and $100 a bottle, lost as much as half of its wine. “It’s not just good wine we lost, it’s our best wine,” Montgomery said.
Sara Cummings, a spokeswoman for Sonoma County Vintners, which represents more than 200 wineries and affiliates, said the 450 wineries in the county are currently assessing the damage. “Losses of wine and other damages in Sonoma County, while significant for several wineries, seem to be relatively minor,” she said.
Napa Valley is one of the most well-known winemaking regions in the world, generating about $50 billion in economic activity every year, roughly a quarter of the entire wine industry in the United States. This earthquake is the poison cherry on top of the already terrible year that the state’s winemakers have faced as a result of California’s drought.
Read more about the story at Reuters.