Thursday, August 28, 2014

Earthquake Hurts Napa Wine Country

We have all heard about the recent 6.0 magnitude earthquake that recently hit northern California... the biggest one in the last 25 years. Our hearts and prayers go out for those that have been hurt. At this point, it sounds as if there have been no lives lost; however, many lives have been altered from this catastrophic event. Many claim more than $1 billion in damages have occurred.

The epicenter of this natural disaster happened not far from the famous Napa Valley wine region. They, too, have been affected by not only structural loss, but also the loss of some of the wine itself. We have always taken our wine list seriously. While there are amazing wines from all over the world, this region is known for some of the best of the best. In the news, there have been many videos and photos of broken wine bottles, wine barrels thrown from their racks and storage structural damage.

The famous Silver Oak Winery, one of the world's most respected wineries, did not fare so well. Owned and operated by the Duncan family with many close LaSalle connections, Silver Oak lost hundreds of bottles from a rare collection of single-vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, and three oak barrels of wine were damaged. “Luckily the barrels didn’t burst, so we were able to salvage most of the wine,” said David Duncan, company president. “The collection of bottles is literally priceless. I cleaned that up myself with a shovel.” 

We have a few other Napa wineries - such as Hendry or Biale Vineyards - that we adore on our list. Here is an update on their situation. 

At Robert Biale Vineyards, south of Yountville, ten barrels of Zinfandel and Sangiovese were lost when a row of racks collapsed. “Thank God there were no cellar guys working—3:20 a good time for a wine country earthquake,” said winery partner Dave Pramuk.

A lot happened in a short time in the Hendry family. Here are some recent updates from them:

Day 1: "Busy night/day at Hendry Winery - not that far from ground zero. Still assessing the damage."

Day 2: "First, we are ok! Lost bottles/barrels, but no structural damage so far. Beautiful AlbariƱo fruit coming in."

(On the lighter side, One day after the quake, the Hendry family also welcomed the 4th generation into the world.

Day 3 (yesterday): "Thank you to all who have called, posted and emailed to check on us at Hendry! As you may have seen on Twitter (@hendrywine) or our other Facebook page (, we have been cleaning up in the barrel room and the library, but we are all safe and sound, and very grateful that our winery escaped major damage. The 2014 harvest has begun, with AlbariƱo and Chardonnay leading the way. More whites coming in to press tomorrow. Onward."

Here is a twitter link to more photos.

We have yet to feel the impact from Napa Valley wine producers, but we just hope that we will be able to purchase their product. We all hope for a speedy recovery.

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