Crops, Blogs and Politics
1. European Wine Bloggers Conference Underway.
Another good sign for the vibrancy of the wine blogosphere. In Spain they are investigating what it means to be a wine blogger, how to be a wine blogger, where the medium is going and where it will end up. You can follow the conference via video and a comments section. This kind of conference is a first. The second conference of its type will happen on October 24-26 in Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, CA.
2. Pennsylvania Wine Shipping
All signs seem to point to Pennsylvania not passing direct shipping legislation. The proposed new law would have out of state wineries (not retailers) taking orders and sending the wine to state stores where it would be picked up for a fee. Many employees of the state stores, the distributors and consumers don’t like the legislation for very different reasons. It’s a good sign that consumers and many wineries have come out against this rigged system that really only helps consumers in a nominal way. Pennsylvania will have to address their shipping issue at some point. But it doesn’t look like it will happen with the current legislation.
3. Tennessee Takes Up Direct Shipping—Again
Tennessee is set to take up again the issue of selling wine in grocery stores as well as over the Internet. TN is one of those state where consumers must go to a liquor store to get wine rather than the grocery store, where they also happen to pick up their foods. It’s also a state where it’s a felony, like rape, to ship a bottle of wine directly to a consumer. The bill that got tabled in committee earlier this year is a good one. It allows consumers to buy wine and have it shipped directly to them from in-state wineries, in-state retailers, out-of-state wineries and out-of-state retailers.
4. CA Harvest Ready to Ramp Up
The CA harvest is nearly ready to go into full swing. Numerous wineries I’ve spoken to say they will likely begin picking grapes seriously next week. Sauvignon Blanc is almost perfectly ready in the warmer areas of the North Coast of California. Chardonnay will likely be coming in to. We are told the crop will be slightly smaller than average generally, very much smaller than normal in some varieties, and probably heavier than normal for a few varieties. Massive, record breaking heat has hit the North Coast over the past couple of days. This isn’t want the grape growers really want.