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Down The Drain: Wineries Brace For Napa Quake’s Toll

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NAPA (CBS13) – Wineries like Silver Oak Cellars are still assessing just how much wine was lost in the Napa Quake.

But some are already predicting hundreds of thousands of dollars of wine down the drain.

“Our wine sells for about $1,300 a case, so it’s a lot,” said Silver Oak Cellars owner David Duncan.

A photo snapped by Duncan shows hundreds of bottles of expensive wine shattered on the ground after the 6.1 earthquake shook them off the racks.

“I’ve felt a few but not one this big,” Duncan said.

Several barrels of wine stacked to the ceiling of the Napa barrel care storage facility near downtown toppled to the ground, spilling red wine all over the floor.

“You can smell the wine that’s on the floor in there at the moment,” said Bill Nancarrow, winemaker at Goosecross Cellars.

The warehouse holds wine for many local winemakers, including for Goosecross Cellars.

“I know some friends of mine have barrels in here from the 2012 vintage and the 2013 vintage, much the same as we do,” Nancarrow said. “And you know those are wines that were started a couple years ago, or a year ago, and its potential we’ve lost them.”

Nancarrow says he now must go through the mess and pump any remaining wine out of the barrels that are still sound to try and salvage what he can.

“It’s a scary time because of the loss of inventory – and it takes a long time and a lot of effort to make wine. You don’t just turn around overnight,” Nancarrow said.

And while it’s still too early to tell how much wine will go to waste, Nancarrow says his next season’s batch could be affected as well.

“We’ve just started harvest so if the wineries have sustained damage then there’s going to be concern about whether we can actually bring in the fruit this harvest as well as much as we want to,” Nancarrow said.

Each one of those barrels holds about 300 bottles of wine, or about 25 cases.

At Silver Oak, just one bottle of wine costs at least $50.

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