One immediate challenge is getting wine into bottles. Cain Vineyard, on top of Spring Mountain, is working at half-speed with fewer people to maintain proper social distancing. An additional problem for the cash-strapped, says winemaker Chris Howell, “is we can no longer carpool.”

Luxury hotels such as the new Archer and Meadowood have closed. Linsey Gallagher, president and CEO of Visit Napa Valley, emailed that “preliminary Smith Travel Research (STR) data for the week March 15 to 21 showed hotel occupancy was at 13%.” She didn’t want to predict how vast the financial fallout might be.

Like restaurants around the world, those in Napa are also trying to keep afloat by offering takeout food and wine.

Matt Stamp, co-owner of my favorite Napa wine bar, Compline, says it’s delivering food daily to a lot of winemakers. For a $20 donation, you can buy a meal for a health-care worker.

“Comfort wine for me,” Stamp says, “is good wine that doesn’t need to be the center of attention that comes from winemaker friends who are struggling, too. If we can all help each other out right now, that’s comforting.”

And on the charity front, Napa-based online discounter Last Bottle is holding a massive marathon sale that ends on Friday, April 3, at 11:59 p.m. PDT with $1 per order going to two valley organizations helping those in need. On Thursday, they sold 3,000 bottles of cabernet in two minutes. is launching online weekly wine auctions of donated bottles of Napa wines such as Harlan and Screaming Eagle, as well as less expensive stunners like Lorenza rosé to benefit restaurant workers. It kicks off on April 5.

This article was provided by Bloomberg News.

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