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Wine Spectator: How Much Will Napa’s Earthquake Cost?

October 16, 2014

The dust may have settled from California’s August 24 earthquake, but Napa Valley’s wine industry is still calculating the cost, with early estimates running beyond $80 million. In the weeks that followed the 6.0 magnitude quake (downgraded from 6.1), wineries labored to clean up just as harvest was moving into high gear, all the while dealing with damaged tanks, fractured walls and fewer oak barrels than anticipated. As crush winds down, the financial impact has begun coming into focus.

Surveying nearly half of Napa’s wine industry in early September, Silicon Valley Bank estimated that businesses suffered $80 million in damages, but cautioned that their appraisal was “conservative.” The bank’s wine division, based in St. Helena, reported that 60% of the county’s wineries had some level of damage, and up to 25% sustained moderate-to-severe damage, resulting in damage to individual wineries that ranged from $50,000 to $8 million.

“I suspect those figures will go higher,” said Rob McMillan, executive vice president of the wine division. “Once everybody gets the contractors out there, the costs will likely go up.” Wine Spectator has the full story.

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