At 3:20am Pacific time on August 24th, a 6.0 earthquake rumbled its way through northern California, centered almost right on top of famed wine region Napa Valley. While earthquakes are fairly common in this part of the country, this Napa earthquake was the largest of its kind in 25 years in our area. At Incredible Adventures, we were lucky to sustain no damage, and are happy to announce that our Muir Woods and Wine Country Tour, our Napa & Sonoma Wine Education Tour, and our Napa & Sonoma “Woods & Wine” Overnight Tour are all running as-scheduled and without any hangups. We’ve checked in with our partners up north, and they’re reporting a lot of shake-up, but not too much significant damage. Most of the wineries we work with are open as usual and happy to be getting back to business! What causes an Earthquake? Earthquakes are caused by the movement of large plates under the earth. Sometimes when these plates slip or grind up against each other, we get shaken up here on the surface. The USGS has plenty of information on The Science of Earthquakes if you want to know more. How big is a 6.0 earthquake? Well, it’s on the low side of “strong”, according to the magnitude scale. Was there a lot of damage? While we certainly felt it here in our home base of San Francisco, a majority of the destruction seems to have been in Napa Valley and nearby towns like Vallejo. Napa wineries, vineyards, and liquor distributors are still determining the extent of the damage to their buildings and their wares, but the initial counts aren’t encouraging: news sources are reporting a possible $1 billion blow to the industry and area as a whole. Piled on top of California’s severe drought, it’s a hard time to be in the wine industry. What can you do to help? For every wine tour you book with Incredible Adventures using promo code QUAKE, we will make a donation to disaster relief in Napa Valley. You can also help local wineries directly in both Napa and Sonoma get back on their feet by keeping their businesses going: taking a Napa or Sonoma Wine Tour (and buying bottles directly from the winery) can help provide necessary income so that our partners can make repairs to their buildings and proceed with the 2014 harvest. If you’re not in town, the Napa Valley Vintner’s Association is keeping track of the damage from the Napa Valley earthquake and the status of the wineries on their Earthquake Information Page, and suggest donating to the local Napa Valley chapter of the Red Cross, or to the Napa Valley Food Bank (either with food, volunteer time, or money to support those who lost the most). You can also call up your favorite Napa or Sonoma winery and have them mail you something. Every bottle you buy directly helps these wineries get back to business!