BevAlc Roundup | Fire Comes to Wine Country; Day of Action on CBMTRA; Terroir for Spirits

Alex Koral
October 28, 2019

Despite weeks of rolling blackouts, fire has come again to California wine country. The Kincade fire has so far burned many thousands of acres, dozens of houses, and several historical buildings at some of the largest wineries in the region. We extend our deepest sympathies to those who have suffered losses, and fervently hope for a quick and effective conclusion to this fire and to the fire season in general.

This week in the Roundup, we look at how tariffs are affecting both sales of U.S. wine in other countries and foreign wineries’ plans. Then, how can wineries adapt to changing consumer expectations and tastes, and after a brief scare whether this year’s was the last one, the SVB Annual Wine Industry Survey is set to continue in future years.

In case you haven’t heard, the 2019 Direct-to-Consumer Wine Shipping Report is available for download. Get your copy today here.

Thanks for reading the Roundup this week. As ever, be sure to check out the rest of the ShipCompliant by Sovos blog for regular updates, and we’ll see you again in another couple of weeks.

Regulatory News and Discussions

TTB Newsletter | This week’s top news includes tips about how to avoid having your beer labels returned for correction due to errors in the net content statements, and an invitation to review our current strategic plans to see what our priorities are. TTB

Beverage Alcohol Coalition Successfully Launches “Day of Action” to Urge Congressional Passage of Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act | Participants from every state in the country called on Congress to prioritize the passage of the legislation, which makes permanent the two-year federal excise tax reduction on distilled spirits, wine, beer and cider products. DISCUS

French, German Winemakers Take the Long View on Eve of New Tariffs | While apprehensive about the imposition of 25 percent tariffs on European wine by the United States, several members of the French and German wine trade are almost uniformly calm about the potential impact on their business. Wine Business

Hit by Trade War, California Winemakers See Their Carefully Cultivated Market in China Shrivel | Big tariffs and anti-American sentiment have hit hard, soon after US vineyards developed a following among Chinese consumers. South China Morning Post

Industry Updates: Market Conditions and Developments

Kincade Fire: Wind-whipped Blaze Grows to 54,000 Acres, As More Flee Sonoma County | Fierce winds on Sunday continued to push the Kincade Fire farther into Sonoma County, torching wineries, hilltop homes and threatening the towns of Healdsburg, Windsor and Calistoga. Napa Valley Register

Wine Industry Challenges: Just a Light Cough or Worse? | With consumer behaviors changing, slowing demand, shifting demographics and a growing chorus of voices extolling the harmful health impacts of alcohol consumption, wine-growers and producers are feeling anxious about the future. Napa Valley Register 

Women-owned Wineries on the Rise in Wine Country | Wineries in Napa and Sonoma enjoyed one of their best years ever in 2019. Still, the wine industry reckoning with gender equality issues that have emerged in the #TimesUp era. San Francisco Chronicle

California Looks to Another Classic Vintage | There have been challenges, but the California sun brought the vintage home. Wine-searcher.com

Digestif

Hop Take: We May Be Drinking Less Beer, but We’re Spending (and Caring!) More | Consumers are drinking less beer, but spending more on it and caring more about it, according to a recent Nielsen survey. VinePair

Can There Be Terroir in Spirits? | Although terroir, a French term defined as representing a sense of place, is a widely accepted concept in the wine world, there’s contention about whether it applies to distilled spirits. Wine Enthusiast

SVB Industry Research: The New Deal | Due to a late-breaking out pouring of survey respondents, the rumored end of the SVB Annual Industry Survey was thankfully exaggerated. SVB on Wine

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Author

Alex Koral

Alex Koral is Senior Regulatory Counsel for Sovos ShipCompliant in the company’s Boulder, Colorado office. He actively researches beverage alcohol regulations and market developments to inform development of Sovos’ ShipCompliant product and help educate the industry on compliance issues. Alex has been in the beverage alcohol arena since 2015, after receiving his J.D. from the University of Colorado Law School.
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