California’s quake costing wine industry billions

The earthquake that destroyed parts of wine country in Napa Valley, California has wine drinkers concerned prices may skyrocket.

With the cleanup efforts still underway in Northern California, Sunday’s 6.0-magnitude earthquake is estimated to cost the area’s wine industry $1 billion, according to Napa County officials.

“The wine industry is a very close-knit community,” said Lavender Crest Winery co-owner Martha Rittmueller. “We feel sympathy for them and say, ‘how could this affect us if that happened here.’”

Lavender Crest Winery is located on the outskirts of Colona, Illinois. In business for 10 years, sales are steadily increasing Rittmueller said.

“We probably produce about 8,000 gallons of wine a year, which translates into about 40,000 bottles,” Rittmueller said Tuesday.

As businesses owners in Northern California learned Tuesday, success can flip to distress in seconds. Wine drinkers nationwide are now left wondering if wine prices will go up.

Rittmueller said she doesn’t foreseeĀ  prices increasing outside of California.

“It could affect some prices in California,” Rittmueller said, adding, “I don’t think many wineries outside of California will raise prices.”

Rittmueller said Lavender Crest Winery is stocked up on wine and ready for harvest, but she understands that business can alter in the powerful hands of mother nature.

“You go into the wine business with a lot of faith and a lot of love, but you also realized there is always another disaster around the corner.”

 

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