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Billions of dollars of wine rocked in California earthquake

The earthquake rocked billions of dollars of world-renowned Napa Valley wine
Napa wineries assess damage following earthquake 01:35

NAPA VALLEY, Calif. - Napa is one of the nation's best known wine regions. Wineries here produce nearly fifty million cases of wine every year that's worth billions to the U.S. economy.

The earthquake that rocked the region also rocked billions of dollars of world-renowned Napa Valley wine.

David Duncan, president of Silver Oak Vineyards, was worried he lost "every single barrel." Instead, he seemingly got off easy; he only lost three barrels, but they were a top quality vintage.

Each of barrel holds 25 cases of wine, and each case can cost $1,300. So they lost about $100,000 in "just in the three barrels," Duncan said.

Napa Valley is home to nearly 800 wineries that produce roughly a quarter of the nation's wine.

The area was already affected by severe drought.

Now the quake's impact has rippled though the entire economy, right down to the visitors who've come here to enjoy the fall harvest.

The impact on the $13 billion wine industry is still unclear.

For Duncan, the loss is personal. He saw hundreds of his family's reserve bottles shattered.

"We actually call it the inner sanctum of the winery," Duncan said. "It's very special, unique reference wines and we don't sell them. And so to lose them...they are gone forever."

With such an expensive commodity, some wineries here don't take chances. Many have built earthquake proof racks to hold those 500 pound barrels of wine. That alone may have prevented an economic disaster.

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