Earthquake Preparedness

Bay Area earthquake impacts Central Coast vineyards

Local wineries, vineyards feel impact of Napa earthquake

SOLEDAD, Calif. - Many Central Coast vineyards do business with Napa wineries. Some were concerned with all the damage caused by the earthquake that rattled the Bay Area over the weekend that Napa wouldn't be able to accept shipments of grapes.

On Monday, Paraiso Vineyards heard back from Hess Winery and said things are looking up for business.

The harvest season just kicked off at Paraiso Vineyards. Like many vineyards, it relies on its business relationship with Napa.

"We produce 5,000 tons for them, 4,000 to 5,000 tons, half of them they own, half of them we own and we sell to them on contract," said Rich Smith, owner of Paraiso Vineyards.

So when news broke that the strongest earthquake to hit the Bay Area in 25 years significantly damaged the wineries in Napa, Smith was worried. Over the weekend, some wineries had damage done to their barrel storage areas, wine inventory and production equipment.

"It would be somewhere in the range of very difficult to impossible to find new customers at this late date," Smith said.

That would have been a loss of about $6,000 an acre. But on Monday afternoon, Smith finally heard back from the Napa winemaker who said the business is ready to take on the shipments of grapes scheduled for Wednesday.

"Part of the good news is this started before harvest started," Smith said. "As of yesterday, very little harvest had been completed, so very few of the tanks and barrels have 2014 wine in them."

The Monterey County Vintners and Growers Association said it is evaluating how local wineries store their wine in case the Central Coast experiences the effects of a big earthquake.

comments powered by Disqus