Napa quake’s impact felt by some in Calaveras County


By Mike Morris / The Union Democrat

A Vallecito winery that makes and stores its wine in Napa Valley lost the equivalent of about 900 bottles of wine in Sunday's 6.0 earthquake.

Even so, Helen Webster, co-owner of Four Winds Cellars, is grateful more damage wasn't incurred.

"We're really counting our blessings," she said Monday. "Yes, we suffered a loss, but it's nothing like it could have been."

Four Winds' grapes are grown on a 100-acre vineyard along Six Mile Road in Vallecito. The fruit is harvested during the night and trucked at 3 a.m. to Napa - where the wine is made, stored, bottled and labeled before returning to Calaveras County.

Webster said early Sunday morning her husband, David, received a frantic call from their business partner and winemaker John Gibson, who said there had just been an earthquake. David Webster rushed to Napa to see the damage firsthand.

Gibson - a veteran Napa winemaker - and his wife, Ann, live in Napa and own Four Winds with the Websters.

Helen Webster, who was raised in Sonora and is now a resident of Murphys, said the earthquake had caused wine barrels to crush pallets of wine and pallets to crush winemaking equipment. She said broken barrels and bottles of wine had painted the floor crimson red.

For the complete story, see the Aug. 26, 2014, edition of The Union Democrat.

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