Why Tea and Wine Don’t Mix

From John, October 2nd, 2013
Chuy, without whom, we would be in a world of hurt.

Chuy, without whom, we would be in a world of hurt.

No matter what your political persuasion, I want you to be aware that the radical right of the Republican Party is adversely affecting our business in major ways.  From their anti-immigrant diatribes meant to chase Hispanics back across the border, to their inability to grasp climate change and now their tantrum regarding “Obamacare”, these so-called Tea Partiers are hurting American wine producers in major ways.

Let us begin with the vehement anti-Hispanic hysteria of the last decade aimed at workers who have come across our southern borders illegally (because they have never been presented with any legal means to do so).  These people need work and we in the agricultural industry need workers.  But because of the absolute nastiness and I would argue racist behavior of our self-proclaimed American patriots, there is now a net exodus south of Hispanics.  As a result, vineyards up and down the West Coast are experiencing a shortage of workers.  This means that when epic storms arrive, as we have seen recently here in Oregon, we cannot get our grapes picked in time.  Admittedly House Republicans are trying to rectify the situation by adding 800,000 federal employees to the work force but I doubt that they have much prowess in picking grapes!

And speaking of epic storms, we are experiencing ever increasing quantities of such events due to climate change.  Now I know that these right-wing ideologues “do not believe” in climate change, evolution or gravity but that, unfortunately, does not mean that these phenomenon don’t exist.  What it does mean is that we doing nothing to deal with a problem of our making and it is having increasing impact on agriculture everywhere.

Add to these impediments the current fit being displayed by House Republicans and we are forced to deal with yet another bump in the road to running our business.  In order to even bottle a wine, we need to have labels approved by the Commodity Classification Branch of the Treasury Department (which is currently shut down).  Assuming that the government is reinstated soon, there will be a backlog of label requests meaning that it could be months before approvals come through.  Add to that the price of my new French oak barrels which are going up daily as the dollar slides in value against other world currencies, and you get John Paul’s latest rave!

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