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Natural Wine Is Steadily On The Rise

Natural Wine is not a new trend but it has becoming more and more mainstream in today’s wine-drinking culture. It began during the green movement in the late 90’s and has gone through two distinct “phases”. The first phase came from the increased demand for organic wine. The second phase became known as biodynamic wine. These two phases or trends have since transformed to become the natural wine trend. Natural wine is described as wine utilizing organic or biodynamic practices. This means that the winemaker’s primary focus is to intervene as little as possible, allowing the wine to in essence make itself. The largest trend in natural wine is not adding any sulfites to the wine. Sulfites are a stabilizing agent that helps to preserve wine for export and extended shelf life. The other aspect of natural wine is sustainability. Winemakers take a more natural approach to their vineyards, such as allowing weeds to grow in the vineyard or encouraging biodiversity. Source: VinePair, January...

In the 50s Drink Service on U.S. Airlines was Quite Different

Until 1949 alcohol was not allowed on U.S. airlines. That policy changed in 1950, but the rules regarding sale and consumption might be more complicated than you thought. Conflicting state liquor laws meant that drinks could only be served while flying over certain states. For instance, while flying over Pennsylvania (a no-sale state at the time) passengers weren’t allowed to be served alcohol. Flight and bar attendants were actually given charts of state liquor sales restrictions to follow. The charts would list the states along the flight route, prohibited days and restrictions to persons who could be served, and even prohibited hours of service. The attendants had to judge based on landmarks while looking out a window, their watch or advice from pilots. Alcohol was not allowed to be served on Sundays, election days and certain other holidays. Perhaps the strangest restriction came while flying over South Dakota, where the restrictions included refusing drinks to “spendthrifts”. Source: Air & Space, January...

Mexico Going Through a Wine Renaissance

The Mexican wine industry is both the birthplace of North American wine and its newest frontier. Mexico boasts the oldest winery in the Americas and is also one of its largest grape growers. Strangely, Mexico currently produces only 20 million liters of wine per year. In comparison, the U.S. produces 3 billion liters of wine per year. Mexico’s wine industry dates all the way back to 1521 with the Spanish conquest of the Aztec empire. Legend has it that one of Cortez’s first orders as governor of New Spain was that each colonist was to plant 1,000 grapevines, for each 100 native employees, each year for 5 years. Mexico currently has over 100,000 acres of vineyards, however much of this acreage is currently devoted to brandy production (of which Mexico is the third largest producer in the world). Source: Huffington Post, January...

Michigan Governor Signs Bill Limiting Out-of-State Wine Deliveries to Retailers

Legislation was recently signed by Governor Rick Snyder to allow Michigan stores to ship wine directly to in-state customers using carriers such as FedEx or UPS, however out-of-state retailers will be banned from sending beer and wine directly to Michigan customers. Customers will still be allowed to receive wine shipped directly from wineries. Under the new law, the carriers will now be required to submit quarterly reports about each delivery. Beer and Wine wholesalers say the law, that was enacted Monday, will crack down on illegal wine shipments from online wine retailers and “wine clubs”. Source: Wood TV, January...

Judges issue ruling in Heidelberg Distributing lawsuit in Ohio

In Cincinnati the appeals court has upheld the key components of the original judge’s ruling in the bitter family dispute over control of Moraine-based Heidelberg Distributing Co. The appeal of the original 2015 ruling was issued by a portion of the family most involved with the day-to-day operations of Heidelberg. A three-judge panel of the Ohio 1st District Court of Appeals refused to overturn most of the initial judge’s ruling. They did however overturn portions of the judge’s decision and decided to return the case to the trial judge for further rulings in line with the appeals court’s decision. Source: Dayton Daily...

China Alcohol Imports Grew in 2016

China’s imported alcoholic beverage imports continued to grow in 2016 with the biggest growth coming in the Spirits category in November, according to figures released by China Association for Imports and Export of Wine & Spirits. The growth in imported spirits in November was explosive at just over 6 million liters, worth $110 million dollars. That growth represents a 78% increase in volume compared with the previous year and 42% increase in volume. In total, China imported 51.82 million liters of spirits worth over $755 million dollars, 567.5 million liters of wine worth over $2.1 billion dollars and 598.5 million liters of beer worth over $616 million dollars. Source: the drinks business, January...