The west coast ports are back open. Yippee! Seriously, I am guessing a lot of folks celebrated this news with champagne or drinks… it is crazy after all of that posturing that they came to an agreement three days after the Labor Secretary (of the USA) came to intervene. It makes me wonder what was stopping them from negotiating in good faith earlier in the process.
Premiere Napa Valley set a record for funds raised at its annual event. While that isn’t especially newsworthy, it is indicative of the current economy, especially for affluent consumers. Almost $300 per bottle is pretty astonishing considering what you can buy if you went out into the market – like this or this. I am surprised there isn’t a similar event for Pinot Noir at this point based on its popularity among collectors.
Petaluma Gap is creating an AVA. This makes sense as wineries have been touting the “Petaluma Wind Gap” as a point of differentiation for many years. For buyers of Sonoma Coast wines, it has been obvious that the Sonoma Coast AVA would eventually be carved up into a lot of smaller AVAs. That is what drives the West of West group to differentiate itself as well.
Illinois is really protecting its wine retailers and distributors. First, there was the news that a lawyer was using a technicality (are shipping charges on wine taxable?) to collect hundreds of thousands of dollars as a whistleblower. That action was targeting out-of-state wineries. Last week, the state’s Illinois Liquor Control Commission went after out-of-state companies that do not have licenses to ship to Illinois — this is primarily retailers. It is important for both people in the industry and consumers to know that the rules for wineries and retailers are different. While wineries can feasibly ship to ~40 states in the US, retailers can only legally ship to ~15 states without going through the 3-tier system.