Archive for the ‘Wine Legal Battles’ Category

Mar 7, 2018

Wine, Napa, Hyperbole and the Adorable James Conaway

It’s hard to argue with James Conaway, the writer and essayist who recently savaged the culture of Napa Valley and many of its inhabitants in a piece he penned for The Atlantic. It’s hard to do this because I like James so much, respect him tremendously and marvel at his writing skills. But it’s because he does know that I respect him that I’m sure he’ll take the following critique of his hyperbolic, unfair and somewhat sloppy Atlantic article in…

Dec 27, 2017

Can It Get Uglier in 2018 for One of America’s Largest Wine Companies?

“The multitude of violations found during the course of these investigations is truly staggering” This is the description of the corruption exhibited by Southern-Glazer’s, uncovered by the New York State Liquor Authority and that led it to issue a $3.5 million fine on the largest wine wholesalers in the United States. Incidentally, this fine levied upon Southern-Glazers for violating a host of NY laws comes in the wake of Southern-Glazer’s being fined $5 million earlier in 2017 by the state…

Dec 5, 2017

Top Ten Wine News Stories of 2017

Wine News in 2017 was big and varied. Lots of big changes and big events. Some of it was predictable. Other news, well not so predictable. Here are my Top 10 Wine News Stories of 2017. They are not presented in any order of importance and they tend to focus in part on California’s wine industry. WINE COUNTRY FIRES DEVASTATE The fires scarred everyone in Napa and Sonoma. The land will recover, but the personal, economic, and psychological toll will…

Nov 29, 2017

The Enemies of Napa Valley Wine Come Out of the Closet

In an earlier post concerning an effort here in Napa Valley to prevent any more plantings of vineyards anywhere but on the Valley floor, I claimed that the proponents of the Oak Woodlands initiative had a hidden agenda they were not talking about. I was right. In a recent letter to the Napa Valley Register, the author of the Oak Woodland Initiative, Mike Hackett, noted that the Initiative “represents a step in the right direction.” Not the solution to a…

Nov 27, 2017

The Thugs of the Wine Industry

Distributor consolidation in the wine industry —such as the latest between Republic-National and Breakthru — is beneficial to consumers who like their wine wet and with alcohol. This is the majority of wine made and sold. However, it comes at a price for those consumers who these two distributors care nothing about and generally despises: consumers who want a wine that is interesting, innovative, well-made, authentic or simply really good. But consider this little economic innovation: today two wholesale wine companies…