Date
23 October 2017
Broken wine bottles and burst barrels litter wineries in Napa Valley, but Sunday's earthquake appears to have little impact on the industry. Photo: abc13.com
Broken wine bottles and burst barrels litter wineries in Napa Valley, but Sunday's earthquake appears to have little impact on the industry. Photo: abc13.com

Napa Valley earthquake unlikely to affect wine prices

Winemakers in California’s Napa Valley are still assessing the damage brought by a magnitude 6 earthquake in the northern part of the US state on Sunday, but reports indicate that it had little impact on the region’s vineyards.

At some wineries, bottles and barrels rolled off shelves and burst, fermentation tanks ruptured, and fine wine was running in rivulets through the streets, the Washington Post reported. But elsewhere, the wine appeared largely secure, it said.

“Most wineries in Napa Valley are located north of where the earthquake was centered,” the Wine Institute, a trade association, said in a statement. Those facilities “seem to have experienced minimal damage and disruption”.

“It’s a little early to tell,” said Robert Smiley, an expert on the wine industry and the former dean of the business school at the University of California, Davis. “It doesn’t look like the supply is affected much.”

Less than 4 percent of the wine produced in the United States comes from Napa, according to the newspaper. Roughly nine-tenths of US wine comes from California, but most of those grapes are grown in the state’s Central Valley, which was not affected by the earthquake.

Wineries that suffered from the earthquake might raise their prices, but they have to compete with quality bottles from nearby regions such as Sonoma Valley, which may lack Napa’s fame but have similar grapes and climates, the report said.

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CG

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