The Governor has officially put herself on the “Most Wanted” list (at least as far as Californian wineries go), after she deemed all Californian wines to be “jug wines“.
Gov. Chris Gregoire stated that there’s no competition as far as the quality of Washington’s wine goes. She really drove the point home when, recalling a trade mission to Europe in which someone asked her about California wine. Her blunt response was: “They make jug wine. We make fine wine.”
Central Coast winemaker Gary Eberle (owner of Eberle Winery in Paso Robles) is pissed.
“From the many, many blind wine competitions, California has proven itself as one of the premier wine producing regions of the world.” and he added “Washington does buy a lot of California grapes….”
Christopher Taranto of the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance had a witty response: “Well, I wonder what that says about her exposure to wines of California that hasn’t been encumbered by what is available through the great state of Washington’s liquor control board? Just kidding there Gov! Love me some WA pinots” (NB: That’s pretty funny!)
Gregoire’s remarks came as she signed a capital construction budget that includes $5 million toward a Wine Science Center in Richland
This. Is. Awesome! Full respect to this chick! California winemakers WISH they had someone this vocal in their corner!
Obviously what Gov. Gregoire said is complete and utter horse-sh*t, but I can’t knock her for standing up for what she believes in! God-forbid anyone knocks the Californian wine industry! They’re grown-ups, they can handle themselves.
I’ve thought for some time now that Washington State wines have long been under-appreciated by the mass market wine consumer, but as I stated in my most recent wine video, I think they have a slight identity crisis.
No doubt there’s some exceptional quality wines coming out of WA, but they really need to find their niche if they’re ever going to compete with CA.