Late breaking: Peter Spann just announced that he and his wife, winemaker Betsy Spann, will close their tasting room “this Sunday to move to an as yet unknown future location, at an as yet unknown re-opening date. Our sub-lease (at Saret Gallery) expires on Aug. 31.” Adds Spann, “In observance of Labor Day we’ve chosen to lessen our labor by having a Moving Sale,” starting today, Friday, through Sunday, Aug. 31. “All wines in our tasting room will be on sale with 15 percent off on six-bottle mixed purchases and 20 percent off on 12-bottle mixes purchases, including our 2001 OMG Meritâge blend that was just rated 90 points by the International Wine Review.” Run, don’t walk for the juice of the gods from one of our winemaking goddesses. Noon to 6 p.m. 111 E. Napa St., Sonoma. 996-1330. Spannvineyards.com.
Sonoma was quiet last Sunday, between the media cautions about traffic for Sonoma Raceway’s IndyCar weekend and a little ole 6.0 earthquake.
Like many earthquakes, this one was weird, seeming to shake up different parts of Sonoma and Napa Valleys, and even different sections of buildings and homes. I clung to the bed and, strangely, yelled “Help,” as if that would do any good, but the shaking, rumbling and trauma began to stop.
We spent Sunday morning sweeping and mopping up old glass treasures and newer bottles of vermouth and vodka, but many Wine Country residents had a lot worse damage to their home structures, businesses and nerves.
Our neighbors to the east, on the other side of the border in Napa, are suffering much more than we are. Everyone has a story to tell, but they actually watched their homes crumble, as I thought ours was about to.
Most of our winemakers and restaurateurs expressed thanks for all the caring messages they have received from around the world.
While you hear the occasional laugh when people fret over spilled wine, to some people it is their livelihood, their investment, their art, their business and their passion.
Some wineries lost lots of their stock, but most said, basically, “We’re all cleaned up and please come visit” and buy wine. I can see new labels sprouting – “I survived the 2014 earthquake.” I wonder whether wine that has been through a trauma will be better or worse than if it lived a tranquil existence amid classical music.
Jeff Mayo of Mayo Family Winery said their several thousand cases stored on Eighth Street East in Sonoma are fine. Sam Sebastiani lost about 40 barrels of his new La Chertosa wines.
Jeff Bundschu, of Gundlach Bundschu, stated that their wine loss and winery damage were fairly minimal. “We have a few broken bottles and leaning towers of stacked cases at our warehouse,” but everything else seemed “pretty much intact.”
Bundschu showed a little sadness about damage to what he knew as “Grandma’s house,” that of the late Mary Bundschu, which they now use as offices. The big historic stone house lost part of a chimney, while the front porch “shifted mightily” and acquired some big cracks. They lost some antique bottles and family heirlooms “that flew from their shelves and shattered.” Several of us had that happen as well.