Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Wine >
Aug 24, 2014 09:13 AM


Zin, Maria and others, I hope that you are all safe. Please report in. The epicenters were right near Carneros Creek.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Is Carneros Creek in/at American Canyon?

    13 Replies
    1. re: c oliver

      No, Caneros is at the other end of the county. However I would think many wineries in area will have damage. Here in San Jose, I felt nothing. Best wishes for those in the affected area.

      1. re: budnball

        I'm sorry, not the winery but, the actual creek itself on the map that I looked at. It was an area where a lot of boats were docked both wet and dry.

        1. re: budnball

          I'm poor at geography but that's what I was thinking. We regularly visit Sonoma. From what I've read there was only one serious injury. The '89 quake killed 63 but most of those were on the section of freeway that pancaked. Sounds like some roads have cracks and are closed. Our friends in Sonoma proper had a few things fall off shelves but that was all. It was a "rolling" quake which seems like they're easier to ride out.

        2. re: c oliver

          The USGS map points to a Carneros Creek location just the other side of Fagan Slough from Napa County airport (and American Canyon). i.e. south Sonoma, at the head of the bay.

          1. re: paulj

            The epicenter was close to the Napa Airport.

            1. re: maria lorraine

              And you're okay as well as your home? x,c

              1. re: c oliver

                All OK at home. No injuries just some breakage. The quake was very violent--things flew off walls, heavy furniture moved 2-3 feet, big refrigerator walked across kitchen. Lamps tossed onto floor, items on tables/sideboard/counters also tossed onto floor. Cabinets opened, canned/bottled goods fell and broke. Wine glasses crashed and broke. Chandeliers swayed violently. Front sidewalk cracked. Frightening to be in the middle of it. But we are OK.

                1. re: maria lorraine

                  Thanks. I know you're in Napa so was hoping to hear from you. Best, C

              2. re: maria lorraine

                I'll never forget going through the 89 quake here in Santa Cruz. I was looking down at the ground waiting for it to open up . I was scared shitless, thinking this is it damn it. California is sliding into the ocean. Scary shit. Hope everyone is OK .

                1. re: emglow101

                  As one who was on the San Jose side of the hills for that one, I remember the same feelings. And like that one, much of the damage has yet to be documented. Smaller wineries and properties in the Napa hills are not likely to get much news coverage, but I can image large losses.

                  1. re: budnball

                    I'm hearing the 2013 vintage (in barrels) was hit pretty hard at some of the southern Napa wineries.

                    1. re: maria lorraine

                      Broken barrels, open bungs? Or can it settle? Not hearing much from wine reps covering OC.

                      Glad you're OK.

                      1. re: Midlife

                        Some broken barrels. Some bungs held, some did not.
                        Seams broke on large tanks. Some tanks bolted to floor did not hold and fell.

          2. Is French Laundry ( with its fine wine collection ) OK?!

              1. re: ernie in berkeley

                Reminds me of my college library after a 1970s LA earthquake - shelves of bound journals flattened by the shaking. If shelves and racks aren't properly braced, they can come tumbling down.

                1. re: ernie in berkeley

                  That looks like it could have been prevented. A 6.0 is not that strong. It would not be difficult to design a storage systen that would have held up.

                  1. re: GH1618

                    Agreed. I know that the straps we had to install for our water heater didn't let it budge in the '89 one.

                    ETA: Here's a chart.


                  2. re: ernie in berkeley

                    That damage is all around the valley. Filled barrels weigh 900 lbs. and they were tossed.

                    1. re: maria lorraine

                      Do vintners generally have earthquake insurance?

                      1. re: maria lorraine

                        Afternoon reports seemed to say that up valley things weren't so bad, but they were talking mainly about restaurants, markets, etc. Is it a different story with the wineries? Thanks so much for your feedback ML, you're all in our thoughts and prayers.

                    2. The owner of the winery in the photo I posted says that the bungs held for most of the barrels and he's only lost a few.

                      And here's a 20-second video of a fermentation tank spraying wine through a crack at Sebastiani. They're saying 19 of their tanks were damaged.


                      7 Replies
                      1. re: ernie in berkeley

                        I would assume all wineries in earthquake country carry earthquake insurance. Pretty foolish if they don't.

                        1. re: c oliver

                          Actually, I would be surprised if they did carry insurance specifically for earthquakes. I'd figure that any damage to a winery would be minimal and the event so infrequent as to make the insurance not worth its cost.

                          1. re: kagemusha49

                            Earthquake insurance is not cheap.

                            1. re: paulj

                              No, it's not and the deductibles are enormous %s. But I'd think lenders would require it. But I don't know that. I know every year we have to actively opt out of purchasing it.

                              1. re: c oliver

                                Yes, agreed, most lenders require earthquake insurance. Even if they didn't, the liability of barrels or tanks toppling onto employees or visitors in a quake makes insurance seem like a no-brainer. But some smaller wineries don't have earthquake insurance.

                                1. re: c oliver

                                  I don't know about business loans for wineries, but home lenders don't require it.


                                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                    Yeah, I know that but was just wondering about commercial loans. Don't have the answer.

                        2. Lots of breakage in lower Napa Valley, power still out in fermentation tanks where juice is being made into wine (critical time factor before potential wine is lost). Barrels filled with wine cracked open and wine lost. Barrels upended, tossed onto cellar floors. Large fermentation tanks tipped over, dented.

                          Photos, in order, of Silver Oak wine bottles on floor, enormous fermentation tanks tipped over and dented, Blackbird wine barrels tossed onto floor (photo from Aaron Pott).