As regular readers know, I write a free, twice monthly wine column that’s distributed to newspapers across the country.
These columns are hosted by Grape Collective. If you don’t see my column in your local newspaper, please send an email to your paper’s editor and CC me (David – at – Terroirist.com).
In my latest column, I share post-earthquake stories from Napa Valley. While people associate the community with expensive wines and Michelin-starred restaurants, Napa is a working-class community at heart. And across the Valley, people rallied to help those in need.
John Trinidad, a wine industry attorney who lives on Main Street in Napa, was cleaning up from a party when his home started shaking.
“At first, I thought it was a little roller,” he explained. “But then, it got pretty violent, with full-on shaking. I had already braced myself, so just kind of rode it out — but heard a lot of things crashing around me. After the shaking stopped, I looked around and yep, a lot had come out of the cupboard — broken glass, broken plates, lots of things on the ground.”
The 6.0 magnitude earthquake that struck southern Napa County on August 24 was the strongest California had experienced in 25 years.
The media quickly turned its attention to wine — and the economic impact of the quake. Although Napa Valley accounts for less than 4 percent of America’s total wine production, it’s the country’s best-known wine region. And it’s a big moneymaker. The region’s wine industry has an economic impact of $50 billion annually.
At its heart, though, Napa Valley is a working-class, farming community. And in the wake of the earthquake, brand Napa Valley — $300 “cult” Cabernets, Michelin-starred restaurants, and the like — was overshadowed by kinship and kindness.
Check out the rest of the piece on Grape Collective!