Business as Usual in the Napa Valley after the Earthquake
Tourists flock to this wine capital of America every August, an important time for local vineyards as this is when grapes are harvested and prepped for crushing.
If you are you planning to a tour the Napa Valley this season, you could be wondering whether to proceed or cancel your trip after the 6.0 magnitude earthquake hit California’s northern Bay Area on August 24, 2014.
Napa Valley Earthquake Damage
Note that this earthquake, the strongest in 25 years injured more than a hundred people, knocked out power stands, damaged historic buildings, and sent people fleeing from their homes during the strong tremor.
A local vintner’s association reported that the earthquake has not detrimentally affected the vineyards or the grapes that are scheduled for harvest.
A number of wineries and most cellars, however, were less fortunate.
Some wineries incurred damage to their barrel storage areas and equipment for wine inventory and production, while about 76% of cellars were damaged. Residents and business used the day to clean up.
By Monday, power was back in most parts of the Valley and so are most of the business operations – hotels, restaurants, vineyards, wineries and tourist attractions.
If you are deliberating on going or not, this article, published by the San Jose Mercury News might just help you decide:
“With power still out in some places, quake-damaged older buildings and closed streets, tourism officials recommended that visitors stay away from downtown Napa Sunday, and possibly Monday.
But wine tourists shouldn’t put the rest of their Napa Valley excursions on hold, as restaurants, shops and wineries further up the valley — including in Yountville, St. Helena and Calistoga — experienced little damage, according to a statement from Tom Fuller, a spokesman for Visit Napa Valley, one of the region’s tourism associations….
Fuller said anyone planning a visit to the valley in the next day or two, even if they are heading north of Napa should still call their destination to make sure they are open, because some wineries or restaurants may be doing cleanup were affected by scattered power outages.”
The extent of damage varies for different businesses and winemakers.
Napa Valley’s economy is dependent to its wine industry and the tourists that this brings into the region. The valley receives a whopping 3 million visitors every year ( about 13,500 travelers per day) who inject about $1.4 billion each year in direct tourism spending (an average of $3.8 million every day.
With most of these vineyards, wineries and cellars open to the public, it is hoped that the vibrancy of Napa Valley tourism will be restored shortly, even with certain historical attractions still facing repairs.
The best strategy is to monitor the list of businesses that are in full swing through their websites or by calling first to confirm your plans or inquire about their ability to serve you.
“Weather throughout the growing season has been ideal and vintners are expecting yet another excellent vintage, the third year in a row in the region,” the local vintner association reported.
If you don’t want to miss this opportunity, go on and make that inquiry now.