POSTED ON August 24, 2014 | IN Wine Photo of the Day | BY Joe Becerra

napa earthquake news

The famous stature that greets visitors as they enter Napa.

On Sunday morning at our home on the San Francisco Peninsula, Janelle and I were jolted out of bed. In the middle of an earthquake you wonder if the shaking will intensify or diminish. Thankfully, within seconds the rumbling stopped. It was not nearly as strong as what we felt in the ’89 Loma Prieta quake, but strong enough to scare us and remind us of the “big one.” I checked the USGS website and was surprised to learn that the earthquake epicenter was near the town of Napa. That’s some 60 miles away from home, so I knew there would be substantial damage in the Napa area.  By good fortune, the quake struck at 3:20 am. If people had been in shops, offices and downtown tasting rooms, we would be looking at a much more serious situation. Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll know more about damage to buildings, homes, and wineries. I suspect that somewhere wine barrels have toppled. Some of these winery barrel rooms are stacked far too high and are hazardous in an earthquake. I can’t image the scene at supermarkets, wine bars, and wine shops. I picture the Bounty Hunter with shelves stacked with wine bottles. Or, the Oxbow Market with purveyors having all sorts of merchandise precariously stacked. The shots on the news show extensive damage to the older brick buildings. Chimneys have toppled in residences. Roads have buckled. This is the height of the tourist season, and certainly the businesses will suffer. We also know that up the road in the Valley things are much better and somewhat normal. If you have a scheduled trip to the Napa Valley be sure check with your hotel and restaurants that they are still operating. We know that the people of Napa will be strong and will rebuild. We wish them well and hope that things return to normal soon. Our prayers and thoughts are with the community of Napa and the surrounding areas.