Sonoma wine country is open for business

By | Category: Travel news
Napa Valley vineyard

Napa Valley

For those holidaying or planning to visit Napa Valley in the next few weeks, the word from the local tourism officials is that the wineries and vineyards are still open for business.

Saturday’s earthquake which was centred only about 20 miles from Sonoma – the major town in Napa Valley – has caused some destruction and many people have had to visit hospital but, luckily, no injuries are serious. The town, according to the local Sonoma Index-Tribune, has barely a chimney remaining on any building but a large part of the clean-up is complete including the messy spill of  500 bottles of olive oil that leaked onto a street when the bottles broke.

Another local paper, The Press Democrat, said that the Starmont Winery, might have lost hundreds of barrels of wine and had a front page picture of a damaged wine storage facility.

The vineyards which were less damaged are open but there have been losses at storage facilities. One winery, B.R. Cohn Winery, says that half their stock has gone as bottle after bottle smashed. Napa Valley is home to more than 500 wineries and generates over $50 billion in economic impact. The majority are fully open but just check before you visit. The Napa Valley wine train was halted over the weekend whilst the track and bridges were checked but all seems safe and they expect the train service to resume today.

Depending on which news report you listened to or watched over the weekend, the damage looked quite bad. But news stories quickly disappeared, I would imagine because there were no life-threatening casualties cynical as that sounds. But it meant that news organisations in Europe didn’t look at the follow-up and reveal to future visitors how comparatively unaffected  was the infrastructure and to tourism attractions.

So if you have a Napa Valley holiday coming up, the chances are that you can go ahead. Just check first before you go but y guess is that the locals will welcome tourists even more at the moment.

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