No matter what your political persuasion, I want you to be aware that the radical right of the Republican Party is adversely affecting our business in major ways. From their anti-immigrant diatribes meant to chase Hispanics back across the border, to their inability to grasp climate change and now their tantrum regarding “Obamacare”, these so-called Tea Partiers are hurting American wine producers in major ways.
Let us begin with the vehement anti-Hispanic hysteria of the last decade aimed at workers who have come across our southern borders illegally (because they have never been presented with any legal means to do so). These people need work and we in the agricultural industry need workers. But because of the absolute nastiness and I would argue racist behavior of our self-proclaimed American patriots, there is now a net exodus south of Hispanics. As a result, vineyards up and down the West Coast are experiencing a shortage of workers. This means that when epic storms arrive, as we have seen recently here in Oregon, we cannot get our grapes picked in time. Admittedly House Republicans are trying to rectify the situation by adding 800,000 federal employees to the work force but I doubt that they have much prowess in picking grapes!
And speaking of epic storms, we are experiencing ever increasing quantities of such events due to climate change. Now I know that these right-wing ideologues “do not believe” in climate change, evolution or gravity but that, unfortunately, does not mean that these phenomenon don’t exist. What it does mean is that we doing nothing to deal with a problem of our making and it is having increasing impact on agriculture everywhere.
Add to these impediments the current fit being displayed by House Republicans and we are forced to deal with yet another bump in the road to running our business. In order to even bottle a wine, we need to have labels approved by the Commodity Classification Branch of the Treasury Department (which is currently shut down). Assuming that the government is reinstated soon, there will be a backlog of label requests meaning that it could be months before approvals come through. Add to that the price of my new French oak barrels which are going up daily as the dollar slides in value against other world currencies, and you get John Paul’s latest rave!Share This
Recent News & Rants
I am a bit perplexed by the popularity of a relatively new genre of wine: “Natural Wines”. In my opinion, this is a narrow and arbitrary classification meant to suit the marketing needs of whoever is using it. When I see a cloudy wine and am told “Oh this is a natural wine”, I am compelled to retort “I can’t think of anything more natural than gravity…maybe the winemaker should have waited to rack his wine for bottling!” And when one encounters a wine which is either oxidized or smells of fingernail polish remover or has been brutalized by a lactic acid bacteria infection, sure these are “natural processes” but they also emanate from poor winemaking practices.There’s More... >
2016 was an extremely dry and warm vintage. Because of water stress, the berries were smaller and crop smaller than usual. However, a beneficient rain in early September re-hydrated the fruit and the result is a cellar of very concentrated and wonderfully balanced wines. Get ready for a brilliant 2016 vintage of small production down the road!There’s More... >
Guido, our 18 year old Tuxedoed cat, quietly passed away on August 18. For 17 vintages, Guido was our constant companion in the cellar, in the vineyard, in the yurt.There’s More... >