California earthquake: `A sea of wine` in Napa wineries as bottles crash to the floor

As California was hit by the largest earthquake in more than two decades, knocking off power lines and causing gas-triggered fires, hundreds of wine bottles crashed to the floor.

Zee Media Bureau/Supriya Jha

California: As California was hit by the largest earthquake in more than two decades, knocking off power lines and causing gas-triggered fires, hundreds of wine bottles crashed to the floor and barrels of precious beverage were jolted out of racks across the wineries in Napa valley that is known as the center of America`s wine industry. 

As a magnitude 6 earthquake struck on early Sunday morning, with its epicenter located just six miles south-southwest of Napa, the winemakers across the famed wine country of California are yet to calculate the total damages that the tremor might have inflicted on the region`s 13 billion industry.

According to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald, there was a “lake of wine” in Napa wineries as the quake jolted 900-pound wine barrels from racks, damaged winery buildings and warehouses, and smashed bottles of very fine wine.

“With more than 500 wineries in the region, a complete estimate of total damages to the valley`s $13 billion industry could take at least another day,” added the report.

"There is a lake of wine on the floor," the report quoted Carole Meredith of Napa Barrel Care, a large warehouse for wine storage.

David Duncan, president and chief executive of California-based Silver Oak Wine tweeted a picture of the smashed wine bottles.

According to reports, although there was little damage to wineries` structures and equipment, but there were vast stores of wine in barrels and bottles that were destroyed.

"We had a sea of wine," said Kit Cassidy, the Coordinator of Hospitality, at Hagafen Cellars where a fine blend of precious purple drink was seen spilling out of the doors of the tasting room, reported the AFP.

Vintner Richard Ward of Saintsbury Winery south of Napa watched Sunday afternoon as workers righted toppled barrels and rescued a 500-pound grape de-stemmer that the quake had thrown to the ground.

"That`s what happens when you`re a mile from the epicenter," said Ward, who lost 300 to 400 bottles in the winery`s basement.

The San Francisco Bay Area`s strongest earthquake in 25 years struck the heart of California`s wine country early Sunday, damaging wineries and sending more than a hundred to hospitals.
There are no reports of any casualty yet, but at least 120 have been injured, 3 critically.

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