The Grapevine

Wine Industry News 8/24/15: Breaking Records in Oregon, Sniffing Opportunity in Pennsylvania, and Cuban Cigars

August 24th, 2015

Oregon’s wine industry is coming off a record-breaking year and looking to improve on their recent results. Wineries in PA feel their very survival hinges on the privatization debate. And what might happen to the Cuban cigar market with the normalization of relations with between the US and Cuba? [level-members]

First, to Cuba. Fortune’s article starts right out with the 400-pound gorilla: “forbidden pleasures are always the most pleasurable.” Does that mean that Cuban cigars will becomes less valued and therefore, less pricey? Tough to say, and Fortune lays out the evidence on both side of the argument. Read the full article here.

Heading further north, wineries in Pennsylvania are cohered about the ongoing privatization debate. Since retail liquor sales are state-controlled, wineries have to pay to play, so to speak: the Liquor Control Board charges a $150 fee per label to carry a wine in their “state stores.” If the LCB declines, you’re not selling wine in PA … so privatization would sound like a good thing, with multiple distributors to possibly represent your wines. The other side of the coin is that licenses could be bought by large chains, limiting choice. Read the full article here.

And then out west, we have news of Oregon’s great 2014 which the vintners in the state are poised to build upon in 2015. Sales of Oregon wines are up about 11%, as are numbers for vineyards in the state, acres planted to wine, and total sales value. You can read the full article here.