Wine industry loses $80m to Napa quake
Napa’s wine industry has lost an estimated US$80 million after an earthquake ripped through the region last month.
Napa Valley wineries were rocked by a 6.1 magnitude earthquake in the early hours of Sunday, 24 August, on the eve of the 2014 harvest, mainly in the southern and western parts of the county.
In a report released on Tuesday by Silicon Valley Bank, commissioned by Napa County officials and Napa Valley Vintners trade group, the damage caused to the industry has been estimate at $80.3m.
The estimate related to damage caused to winery buildings, infrastructure, equipment, vineyard irrigation systems and the cost of clean up and removal of debris and waste.
It is hoped the report will help winemakers’ claims for federal assistance to rehabilitate the industry.
As reported by the San Francisco Chronicle, Rob McMillan, the bank’s executive vice president, said the damage estimate was “conservative” predicting that actual losses could rise to $100m.
He said: “Bulk wine made up the majority of losses. But you also have to factor in that a lot of these people will be out of the market for a year and will have to rebuild their brand.”
The report said 60% of wineries in Napa County suffered some damage, 25% moderate or severe exceeding $50,000.
The winery to have suffered the most damage, which has not been named, was said to have sustained about $8 million worth of damages caused by the quake,
Wineries near Mount Veeder, Yountville, Oak Knoll and the Carneros region were said to have suffered the most damage.
Earlier this year the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) declared an “agricultural disaster” in 19 upstate New York counties following a “long and bitter” cold winter, allowing winemakers access to an emergency fund to help restore their vineyards.