Napa Quake

Napa Quake Downtown

[Update August 26 12:30 pm.  Berryessa News has produced a Youtube video using an aerial drone.  The Trefethen winery is the subject.  A historic winery building, vintage 1886, was badly damaged.  Thanks to Youtube, you can see the video here.  Trefethen is one of the hardest-hit.  Buy a bottle of their wine!]

[Update August 25 11:30 am.  USA Today has a nice story with additional details.  KPCC in Pasadena ran a 30 minute segment that included Elizabeth Weise, the USA Today reporter for that story.  Wines and Vines has a story with additional industry-specific details.  Finally, kudos to Siduri’s Adam Lee (@SiduriWines) for relentlessly promoting this: Help our Napa friends out. #buyanapabottletonight]

[Update August 24 6:45 pm. Forum for wineries needing assistance and those able to offer assistance.]

[Update August 24 6:30 pm.  The Red Cross has opened a second shelter in Napa.  Patch has the details.]

[Update August 24 6:20 pm.  W. Blake Gray has an article on that contains additional details.]

There was a 6.0 magnitude earthquake near Napa at 3:20 am Pacific Daylight Time on August 24. This article is to provide information about the Napa quake from local perspective. Latest report at 2:30 pm says 120 people were injured, three seriously.

How You Can Help

I always recommend donating to the local chapter of the American Red Cross.  In this case, it’s the Napa Valley Chapter.  Also, of course, buy some Napa wine.

The Official Word on the Napa Quake

First, damage seems to be limited to the southern Napa Valley southeast to Vallejo. The U.S. Geologic Survey maintains a crowdsourced “did you feel it?” map on their website. Here’s what it looked like around 1o am:


Napa Quake USGS Crowdsourced Map

USGS Crowdsourced Map


USGS also has a traditional seismic activity map:

Napa Quake USGS Shake Map

USGS Shake Map

Damage to Wineries and Wine-Related Businesses

To add insult to injury, a statue of Bacchus toppled at Ceja Vineyards:

Napa Quake Ceja Vineyards Bacchus Toppled

Ceja Vineyards Bacchus Toppled

The wine library at Scholium took a hit:

Napa Quake Scholium Library

Scholium Library

Barrels as pick-up-sticks at Matthiasson:

Napa Quake Matthiasson Barrel Jumble

Matthiasson Barrel Jumble

Most wineries that reported collapsed barrel racks also noted that the barrels were pretty much intact.  In a few cases, bungs popped out so there was some loss.  

This photo from the Silver Oak Winery has gone viral.

Napa Quake Silver Oak

Silver Oak

Retailers were hit hard:

[portfolio_slideshow include=”3718,3717,3708″]

Napa’s “newest wine bar, Cadet” estimates losses between $15,000 and $20,000 from wine inventory.

Napa Quake Cadet Wine Bar

Cadet Wine Bar

Damage to Houses and Office Buildings

Damage to houses and office buildings was extensive, especially in downtown Napa. (If you’re not familiar with the area, the city of Napa is actually not the center of wine activity in the Napa Valley. That honor goes to the nearby city of St. Helena.)

Napa Quake Kitchen Wreck

Kitchen Wreck


Napa Quake Chimney Wreck

Chimney Wreck


Napa Quake Chimney and Fence Wreck

Chimney and Fence Wreck


Napa Quake Crack

Crack Reported Ten Feet Deep

But Some People Found a Silver Lining

At least one skateboarder found a use for a buckled street:

Napa Quake Skateboarder



About the author

Tony Lima has been a California wine fan since arriving in California from the east coast in 1974. He's lived the growth and expansion of the West Coast industry first hand. He's seen the fickle California Wine consumer fads pop up and burst... the craze for Zinfandel, then oaky Chardonnay, then Merlot, now Pinot Noir. On behalf of fellow Californian oenophiles, he hunts for great pinot noir and great values in pinot noir all along the West Coast. His day job is Professor of Economics at California State University located in Hayward. His undergrad degree in chemical engineering (MIT) and his MBA (Harvard) and Ph.D. Economics (Stanford) are the root of his interest in the Business of Wine. He is a card-carrying member of the AAWE - American Association of Wine Economists.

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