Though most people thing of wine as pure pleasure, whenever I visit a vineyard or winery I can’t help but think that – at its heart – it’s farming and therefore subject to the whims of Mother Nature. And, when Mother Nature deals a wine region a tough hand – as she did this past winter here in Ontario – my heart really goes out to those whose livelihood is dependant on any crop!
Of course, weather isn’t the only hazard at Mother Nature’s disposal. Wineries in certain parts of the world face additional perils if they also happen to lie in an earthquake zone.
A report released last week about the 6.0 quake that hit Napa on August 24th estimates that losses to the Napa Valley wine industry top $80 million. The report was prepared by the Silicon Valley Bank’s Wine Division for the Napa County Board of Supervisors.
The Bank estimates that 60% of Napa County wineries sustained some degree of damage, with up to 25% of them suffering moderate to severe damage. The losses vary from $50,000 per winery to $8 million in the most devastating circumstance.
The majority of the damage was located in the southern and western areas of the county, as well in business operations in the City of Napa. The Carneros region of Napa, Mount Veeder, Yountville, and Oak Knoll areas suffered the greatest damage, according to the report.