LODI (CBS13) — Lodi’s wine industry has offered help to Napa wineries damaged in Sunday’s earthquake. That disaster help could also be a business opportunity for Lodi.
Lodi Vintners bottles for local wine makers, but it also makes several gallons of wine for multiple Napa wineries. Owner and vice president of operations, Tyson Rippey, lives in Napa and has another family winery there. Rippey said the earthquake damage to Napa’s wineries is bad. His family’s winery was spared, but a Sonoma storage facility lost wine after tanks leaked.
“It was thousands of gallons. It wasn’t a small amount,” said Rippey.
Rippey said most other wineries lost more barrels than bottles. Napa wineries stack the barrels six high, about 16 feet tall. He said there hasn’t been much change in the industry over wine storage, but suspects some wineries may not stack their barrels as high after the earthquake. The problem then becomes finding enough storage space.
“We could see wineries that lost due to barrels collapsing or tanks that have been compromised, and they need space to bring this year’s fruit, so Lodi’s not far away,” said Rippey.
Lodi Vines warehouse owner Don Parker said he can help with storing Napa’s wine bottles.
“So, I thought I have extra space right now,” said Parker. “I could surely bring some of that wine here.”
Parker said he has trucks to pick up the wine and wouldn’t charge the Napa wineries for storage, anticipating they would only need the storage through December. Parker said he’s heard from four wineries near the epicenter of the quake.
“Those particular wineries had problems where a wall or a ceiling had collapsed and they weren’t able to keep the wine cold,” said Parker, who keeps his warehouse temperature at 65 degrees.
Lodi’s Chamber of Commerce said it’s too soon to know if Napa’s disaster will be an economic boost to Lodi, but Lodi Vintners said it’s prepared to make more wine or bottle for Napa and Lodi Vines is prepared to store it.
New tourists looking for wine tastings far from any fault lines could also be traveling to Lodi.