Washington state wineries say they’re not prepared for a big earthquake

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Sarah Linnemeyer, Columbia Winery's wine education ambassador, showed off the large vats where grapes are stored and fermented.

"I can't even imagine that amount of loss, because you can't recover that," said Linnemeyer.

What is inside would be especially vulnerable, she said, if the earth suddenly moved.

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"Hopefully if you were to lose bottles of wines that were in storage, you have something that's salvageable," said Linnemeyer.  "You lose these, you're out of luck.  It's all gone."

She was asked then, if Columbia has an earthquake plan.

"You know, we don't," Linnemeyer said.  "I mean we have an emergency plan if we had an earthquake but we don't specifically here have like a big plan for catastrophe.  But we certainly will make one very quickly if we need to."

Brendan Kelly said they don't have much of an earthquake plan either at Brian Carter Cellars.

"It would hurt us quite a bit," said Kelly.

They store their wine in barrels at Columbia Winery where they  lease space. He said they tend to worry more about the grapes, even what's selling.

"We don't think about natural disasters too often," Kelly said. "Except for if it gets a little too wet or too hot and it hurts the grapes."

Washington state seismologist John Vidale said what happened in California is a reminder that everyone here should also prepare.

"There's lots of faults," said Vidale, sitting in his office at the University of Washington where he runs the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network.  "An earthquake like this (in California) right under a city like Olympia or Tacoma would be a very serious problem ... bordering on catastrophic."

There may be a silver lining for the wineries in the earthquake zone. If they lose wine, especially if they lose a lot of it, prices could go up.