Quake unlikely to affect local dealers

WARREN – Local wine retailers say that their business will not likely be affected by Sunday’s 6.0- magnitude quake in California’s Napa Valley.

The earthquake shook residents all across the Bay area, including northern California’s wine hubs, leaving tens of thousands without power after hitting just after 3:20 a.m. local time. Wineries throughout the Napa Valley reported inventory losses as the tremors caused barrels and bottles to slide off racks and shelves.

Wine created this year will survive since the harvest season just started, but Nicholas Uroseva, owner of Michael Charles Premier Wines in Warren, said that older vintage wines could be impacted.

“We haven’t been able to assess the full (extent) of the damage, but since this happened (at the start of the harvest), this year’s vintage won’t be affected,” Uroseva said. “This will affect vintage wines and wines that aren’t usually up for sale.”

Uroseva said his sources in the industry are telling him that the quake likely will not affect wine with an average price of under $100.

Mark Rhodes, owner of Barrel33 in Howland, echoed Urosaeva’s thoughts. He said he expects more “common” wine to not be affected by the quake.

“I think that the person who collects the higher-end wines will feel a little more pain, as (winemakers) like Silver Oaks, Caymus and St. Supry were affected,” Rhodes said. “A lot of the wines that most people buy come from places around the Napa Valley that weren’t hit as hard, like Sonoma County.

“If anything, I think the quake will have some impact on next year’s vintage.”

Rhodes said that he did not feel his business would be impacted much by a scarcity of Napa Valley wines, as his business stocks wine from local wineries and international makers.

The California Wine Club markets itself as one of the largest mail-order wine businesses in the country. As its name would imply, the company was hit by the quake, but president Gerri Becker said she does not expect much of an impact for its Warren-area customers.

“We are still hearing from our partners that they escaped without any major damage,” Becker said. “We’re busy assessing the damage, but we will be OK and we do not expect any delay in service.

“We were closed (for Sunday) without power, but everything came back into operating order rather swiftly.”