Girly Man Nixes Wine History
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed the bill that would have recognized Zinfandel as "The Historic Wine of California".
What a GirlyMan!!
Well, maybe that’s not fair. Let’s at least see what he had to say in his veto message:
"To name only one of the many of the varietals produced in California as the
historic wine fails to recognize the many world class varietals produced in the State.
With California’s unique micro climates, diverse geography, outstanding soils, and
industrious growers, farmworkers and vintners who have mastered the delicate art of
winemaking perfectly balancing art with science, it would be a shame to recognize only
one as “California’s Historic Wine.”
Typical of politicians, he doesn’t address the issue. Of course naming Zin the Historic Wine of California "fails to recognize the many world class varietals produced in the state." That’s sort of the point of singling out one wine. Let’s face it, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc hardly rise to the historic levels that Zinfandel does.
It was Zinfandel that saved California from the "Mission" grape that produced mediocre wine throughout the latter part of the 19th century in California. Then Zin came around and winemakers realized that truly great wine could be made in the state. Upon seeing the results of the wines made from Zinfandel growers began planting it at a breakneck speed.
Today Zinfandel is universally recognized as "America’s grape".
So, I fear I can’t retract my charge: Girly Man!!
The problem for the Governor, I presume, was that he saw no political benefit to signing the legislation. He likely figured he gained nothing politically while likely losing a tad of respect from a few winemakers and a wine association or two. It appears, by the way, that the powerful California Wine Institute favored the legislation while Family Winemakers of California opposed the legislation.
Those opposing the legislation accurately portrayed the legislation as being unfair. Of course by definition, singling out one thing is unfair. But recognizing greatness and significance is not about fair. It’s about recognizing singularity and greatness.
Others thought that by singling out Zinfandel it might give Zin producers an unfair sales boost at the hands of the state. Perhaps it would have offered minor and temporary boost. And I’m going to spend the rest of the morning trying to figure out how that’s bad.
The Governor made a poor decision. Honesty and history suffered.