Napa Businesses Take a Hit from Quake But Expect Quick Recovery
While many businesses in and around Napa, California, emerged unscathed from Sunday’s 6.0 quake, Vintner’s Collective was hit hard. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)
With aftershocks still rolling through after Sunday morning’s 6.0 earthquake — the biggest since the Loma Prieta quake in 1989 — some Napa and Northern California locals were stepping gingerly through rubble and admittedly jumping at each aftershock. But their message was clear: Don’t cancel your travel plans for Labor Day or harvest season; Napa community and business members will band together and bounce back fast.
“It was really scary; I’m not going to lie,” said Napa city resident Becky Tyner Sandoval, who owns Small Lot Wine Tours and works with many boutique wineries around Napa and Sonoma. “But we’ve been through these major floods that people forget about. We’ve had a lot of natural disasters here.”
In the hard-hit areas of the city of Napa, the Carneros wine region on the Sonoma/Napa counties border, neighboring American Canyon, and nearby Vallejo, the worst damage occurred in pockets, with many places coming through unscathed. Most of Napa County’s major tourist destinations —including St. Helena, Calistoga, and Yountville — reported little to no damage, with businesses planning to be open as usual this week. From the earliest hours of Sunday morning, less affected areas were sending first responders to the epicenter.
The turret of the Alexandria Square building in Napa and the Carpe Diem Wine Bar below were both damaged. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)
Downtown Napa businesses affected, assessing the impact
Though most people agree that the long-term damage will be to the local wine industry — and are already speculating on how the loss of so many precious barrels will affect wine prices — there was physical devastation in downtown Napa as well.
As business owners struggled to rescue merchandise from the rubble, store windows along entire streets lay shattered on the sidewalks, and walls were caved in on many historic buildings. Notable landmarks like the courthouse are awaiting inspection.
“It’s really sad, because we don’t have too many of those old buildings,” said Sandoval.