Huge Fire Destroys Millions of Dollars in Wine
It appears that a massive fire at a 240,000 square foot warehouse that stores wine may have caused over $100,000,000 in damage to more than a half milliion cases of wine that were stored there. The warehouse is owned by Wines Central in Vallejo, California, just down the road from Napa Valley.
According to a story by the San Francisco Chronicle, the warehouse was the resting place for winery-owned cases of wine, collectors’ wines and wines stored by marketing companies.
The cause of the blaze has not been determined and no one was hurt. However, the owner has said the fire lookes very suspicius.
I have no hard information at this point as to which wineries store their case goods at Wines Central. And while it is likely that insurance will cover most of the loss, you can bet a huge amount of great wines have been lost. According to a recent article on the business, over 80 wineries stored either case goods or THEIR LIBRARY WINES (older vintages) at the warehouse, while more than 40 private collectors also used the facility to keep their collections in temperature controlled conditions.
One cynical winery owner I’ve spoken to was stunned at the size of the expected losses, yet noted, "well, at least it will make a dent in the surplus it looks like we’ll have after what looks to be a good sized harvest this year."
That’s a pretty cold and ugly attitude.
The biggest problem will be faced by wineries that have their current or future releases stored at the destroyed warehouse. They simply won’t have wine in the market, meaning they will lose their place on wine lists and retail sheves, positions that are difficult to win back after being lost.