Oh no!

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Wines Central, a specialized storage facility for wine, seemed like a good idea — the time. Converted from a torpedo storage facility at the former Mare Island Naval Shipyard in Vallejo, California, it featured thick concrete walls and floors, steel doors and a concrete roof. Ideal for climate control and security from theft.

Lots of wineries and wine collectors stored extremely valuable wines there. Up to $100 million worth. Most wineries (like ours) maintain a "library collection" of past vintages no longer in release for sale to the public. This enables comparisons across a long period of time and is a valuable database for the winemakers. In addition to ordinary warehouse stock and the valuable wine collections of individuals, Wines Central housed a lot of library collections for nearby Napa and Sonoma County wineries. Fortunately, our wines weren't stored there, but I feel bad for those wineries that lost so much of their history.

Yesterday, despite supposed state of the art fire detection equipment, Wines Central was engulfed in a huge fire. Roughly half a million cases were destroyed, some of them literally irreplaceable.Thankfully, no one was killed or seriously injured, although one brave firefighter was hospitalized for heat exhaustion.

Solano County, where the wearhouse is located, is also an up—and—coming location for vineyards. So far, only a few wineries actually make wine there, but the local vineyards produce some outstanding fruit. The fire won't stop the progress of Solano wines, but it is hardly a  good omen.

It was a terrible day for wine lovers.

UPDATE: Some areas supposedly escaped damage. Heat can be very bad, though. We'll see.

Thomas Lifson  10 13 05

Wines Central, a specialized storage facility for wine, seemed like a good idea — the time. Converted from a torpedo storage facility at the former Mare Island Naval Shipyard in Vallejo, California, it featured thick concrete walls and floors, steel doors and a concrete roof. Ideal for climate control and security from theft.

Lots of wineries and wine collectors stored extremely valuable wines there. Up to $100 million worth. Most wineries (like ours) maintain a "library collection" of past vintages no longer in release for sale to the public. This enables comparisons across a long period of time and is a valuable database for the winemakers. In addition to ordinary warehouse stock and the valuable wine collections of individuals, Wines Central housed a lot of library collections for nearby Napa and Sonoma County wineries. Fortunately, our wines weren't stored there, but I feel bad for those wineries that lost so much of their history.

Yesterday, despite supposed state of the art fire detection equipment, Wines Central was engulfed in a huge fire. Roughly half a million cases were destroyed, some of them literally irreplaceable.Thankfully, no one was killed or seriously injured, although one brave firefighter was hospitalized for heat exhaustion.

Solano County, where the wearhouse is located, is also an up—and—coming location for vineyards. So far, only a few wineries actually make wine there, but the local vineyards produce some outstanding fruit. The fire won't stop the progress of Solano wines, but it is hardly a  good omen.

It was a terrible day for wine lovers.

UPDATE: Some areas supposedly escaped damage. Heat can be very bad, though. We'll see.

Thomas Lifson  10 13 05