Napa wineries mopping up and moving on after earthquake

NAPA VALLEY - Sunday's Northern California earthquake was followed by 15 aftershocks in Napa Valley Tuesday, and more mopping up at the region's famous wineries.

At Trefethen Vineyards, a winery building constructed in 1886 is leaning precariously.

The $13 billion wine industry in the Napa Valley region is quickly getting back in operation.

"It's one of the few standing buildings of its kind," Hailey Trefethen told CBS News. Her family has been growing grapes here for three generations.

She knows that part of being a farmer is dealing with Mother Nature.

"Mother Nature every single year throws some curveballs at us," Trefethen said. "This was a particularly big one though this year."

The earthquake made a mess in storerooms and cellars, but will not stop the harvest. The $13 billion wine industry here is quickly getting back in operation. While a half dozen wineries had major damage, most of the 500 or so in the valley had few problems.

While a half dozen wineries had major damage, most of the 500 or so in the valley had few problems.

Michael Honig of Honig Vineyards found his barrel room undisturbed by the quake, but he was happy that he wasn't there for the earthquake. "I was very glad that it was A.M. and not P.M.," he said.

Honig's tasting room was operating Tuesday and busy with visitors.

About 3 million tourists a year visit the valley, spending around $1.4 billion annually.

After the quake the tourist industry is getting back on track as well. After being shut down for two days, the Napa Valley wine train is making its way among the vineyards again.

"Don't hesitate to come to Napa Valley," said Andrea Guzman, with the Wine Train. "We are open."

Like the rest of California, vineyards here are in the third year of a severe drought. The dry conditions have moved the harvest up a few weeks early. But even with both drought and earthquake, winemakers are expecting a good vintage.

  • John Blackstone
    John Blackstone

    From his base in San Francisco, CBS News correspondent John Blackstone covers breaking stories throughout the West. That often means he is on the scene of wildfires, earthquakes, floods, hurricanes and rumbling volcanoes. He also reports on the high-tech industry in Silicon Valley and on social and economic trends that frequently begin in the West.