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Napa quake hits wine region

A 6.1-magnitude earthquake hit California's Napa Valley wine country last Sunday morning at dawn, the biggest to hit in 25 years. 200 people were injured and dozens of buildings damaged in the Bay Area, northeast of San Francisco and 6 miles southwest of Napa. In the town of Napa, a number of building facades crumbled in the historic district, and the numerous wine shops were strewn with broken bottles. Most of the buildings red-tagged (uninhabitable) were damaged despite having been retrofitted to better withstand quakes, officials told a news conference.

Wineries closest to Napa reported the most serious losses, some sustaining damage to barrel storage areas, production equipment and wine inventories, but the full extent of damage had yet to be assessed, said Nancy Underwood of the Napa Valley Vintners Association. Disaster modeling firm CoreLogic estimated that total insured economic losses could range from $500 million to $1 billion, though the company acknowledged a fair amount of uncertainty around those numbers. In terms of the cost to the wine industry and whether wine prices will be affected it is still too soon to say.