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Napa Quake May Cost Over $1 Billion in Damages to Vineyards and Restaurants

Photo: Shutterstock

A 6.1-magnitude earthquake struck California's Northern coast very early Sunday morning and Napa Valley vineyards and restaurants have been hit pretty hard. According to the Washington Post, Napa Valley was near the epicenter of the quake and damages are estimated "to surpass $1 billion." Winemaker Tom Montgomery tells the Associated Press that the winery he works for has lost "as much as 50 percent" of its wine. Dahl Vineyards in Yountville notes that a barrel containing $16,000 worth of pinot noir fell and was lost during the earthquake. The Los Angeles Times writes that local vintner Steve Matthiasson drove to one of his facilities and "found every single barrel there head been tossed down into a huge pile." Luckily, however, the earthquake happened in the very early morning hours, so no workers were caught in the middle of 900-pound barrels of wine falling.

Many Napa Valley restaurants have also been damaged. Inside Scoop SF notes that restaurateurs spent all day yesterday dealing with power outages, broken windows, shattered glassware, and thousands of cracked wine bottles. Restaurants have not yet been able to adequately assess the full "financial damage like lost wine inventory and possible structural damage." While restaurants like La Toque and Thomas Keller's The French Laundry were saved from much damage, Cadet Wine Bar owner tells ISSF that she lost at least $15,000-$20,000 of wine inventory. Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc is closed today due to an ongoing power outage.

Napa Valley was already facing a difficult year before the natural disaster hit. California is currently in the middle of its "worst drought in decades." Plus, the quake occurred just as many wineries were preparing to harvest their 2014 crop. Now many are pushing their harvest back due to clean-up and equipment damage. Overall, the Wall Street Journal estimates that the valley faces $100 million in economic losses due to the earthquake. See images of the damage below:

· A Big Loser in the West Coast Quake [Washington Post]
· Sorting Through the Wreckage [LAT]
· Napa Restaurants Asses Damage [ISSF]
· Winemakers Cleaning Up After Quake [AP]
· Recovery Efforts Start in California [WSJ]
· All Wine Coverage on Eater [-E-]