Many of us are aware that a large number of small businesses and farms have disappeared from our landscape and economy; the big have gotten bigger and the small have not been able to thrive. The wine industry was one that seemed to buck the trend, where small family run vineyards and wineries have continued thrive by providing products that are unique to their place and time. Now though, the mass scale economy seems to be gobbling up this one last holdout industry.
Consolidation has been progressing in the wine industry for some time now. Small distributors have been bought up, so that large distributors carry 1000’s of products and cover vast territories. Wineries have grown to meet this model, often by buying up existing smaller wineries, continuing the Brand, but consolidating production. You may be looking at a dozen different “wineries” on the store shelf, but those twelve Brands might actually be under only a single ownership.
Another trend that is impacting small producers is a change in wine drinker’s habits. Once an industry that had some Brand loyalty, people now shift their purchasing choices frequently. And why not when one can try a new wine everyday and never try the same wine twice? Also, wine seems to be outside the trend of the local food movement; visit a restaurant that prides itself on purchasing locally grown food and you will see wine from the other side of the globe, but not from that area. We, as producers of locally grown wine, are mystified that we cannot connect with this movement, even when we bring our products to Farmer’s Markets. With the buy local campaigns around the nation, more people are beginning to support their local family farms and businesses; eventually this should extend to wineries too.
Local farms provide many benefits to communities: jobs in the community, money that stays in local circulation longer, land preservation, unique products that are unlike any other in the world, and lower energy input because transportation is reduced. We feel our products are of the quality that are worthy of your support, comparable to any of the world We hope that you will return to our wines from time to time to taste our place in time. You will are tasting this locality and the efforts of the folks who you see pictured on these pages!
I hope you will enjoy a bottle of your local wine with your community of friends and family. This will help small growers be a part of your diversified beautiful landscape. May you be blessed with a prosperous year that is filled with time with those who are dear to you.