“Does anyone know where the pets’ food ended up?” Jill Klein Matthiasson calls out over the noise. A jack hammer cracks against what was the brick staircase to the front door of her historic yellow farmhouse, while 10 of us—volunteers and friends—pack and move boxes from the first floor. The entire house will have to be lifted and put back onto its foundation. On August 24, a 6.0 magnitude earthquake hit the southern part of Napa Valley in California, otherwise known as the California Wine Country. The next day, the Matthiassons—who’ve been making wine in the region since 2002—were forced to move from their home, while also assessing the damage to their 2013 reds. Stacks of wine barrels throughout the winery collapsed during the earthquake, but just how much was lost or destroyed remains unclear. It’s a potentially devastating loss for the couple, who have risen to prominence as leaders in the U.S. wine industry, and were named “winemaker of the year” for 2014 by the San Francisco Chronicle. And they’re far from the only winery owners still reeling from the earthquake. On Mt. Veeder, the Hess Collection winery lost almost 15,000 cases of Cabernet Sauvignon when two tanks were… Read full this story
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