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Despite Earthquake, Napa Wineries Expect Labor Day Weekend Crowds

NAPA-

Many tourists from around the world have been worried about their wine tours being cancelled because of Sunday morning’s earthquake.

Philadelphia resident Heide Welch was one of them. She arranged a wine tour appointment with Platypus Tours more than two months ago, but became worried after seeing images of wineries in shambles in the media.

“We have been looking forward to this for a very long time,” Welch said. “Maybe we don’t want to come here, maybe this is not a good time to come.”

Kevin Mergardt, General Manager of Platypus Tours, said they had to do some emergency cancellations on Monday, because most wineries were closed. They were only able move forward with the Sonoma wine tours for the next few days.

While many wineries lost several barrels of wine, few in Napa suffered structural damage.

Wine maker, Barry Grushkowitz said his Hopper Creek Winery was one of the lucky ones that was able to reopen quickly. He also said they harvested their newest Sauvignon Blanc by Wednesday.

“Tuesday, we were all cleaned up, all the barrels stacked in the proper places, and we were at full operation,” Grushkowitz said.

As a result, Platypus Tours is back at 90 percent of their usual Labor Day capacity, and all 27 of their charter buses are scheduled to make their rounds.

“We anticipate business to be at 100 percent within a couple of weeks,” Mergardt said. ” We are still drinking in Napa. Come on join the party!”

On Friday, Welch completed her four stop wine tour with Platupus tours. She said she is glad she did not jump the gun and cancel her entire vacation.

“I would love to come back,” Welch said. “Absolutely.”