The Wheels Fell Off The Wagon in Saint Helena
The city of Saint Helena in the middle of Napa Valley wants to prohibit tasting rooms in its city limits from tasting and selling any wines that do not carry the "Napa Valley" appellation or a Napa Valley sub-appellation on the label.
What I can't figure out is why the Saint Helena City Council doesn't just go all the way and prohibit the sale or tasting of any wines that don't cary the "Saint Helena" sub appellation on the bottle. With the approval of this new regulation, the Saint Helena City Council seems to want to appear as parochial and silly as they possibly can. Why take half measures? Why not jump the shark completely and appear completely nuts?
And it IS nuts to prohibit the sale and tasting of non-Napa Valley wines in it's city's tasting rooms. Is there really a danger that Saint Helena-based tasting rooms will degrade the Saint Helena or Napa Valley brands if they pour tastes of the wineries' Mendocino Pinot Noirs? Maybe there is.
I'm not a free market purist. How can you be when there is so much at stake where the environment and community planning is a critical part of the quality of life of any region. But actually dictating the appellation of wines that can and cannot be poured? When this sort of thing takes up city council time hasn't the moment come when the issue of disbanding the council for lack of legitimate things to do needs to be debated? Clearly the wheels have fallen off the wagon at Saint Helena's City Hall.
Hat tip to Marcia @ Cornucopia Creations for alerting me to the story.