Industry News Update | 5-12-17

How Trump Administration’s Proposed USDA Cuts Could Harm America’s Multibillion-Dollar Wine Industry

USDA budget cuts could impact U.S. wine exports
Though grape growers aren’t supported by federal subsidies, US wine makers could still be effected by potential cuts to the USDA. Reductions in the Market Access Program (MAP), aimed to promote products in export markets, could affect the $114 billion industry. The greatest impact is likely to be seen in the USDA’s ability to negotiate tariffs and trade barriers U.S. wine exporters face.

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Wine Industry Finds a Companion in a Competitor: Marijuana

Connoisseurship allows wine and cannabis to coexist
Though legalization of marijuana has led to decreased sales in some beer and liquor markets, those in the fine wine industry do not fear competition from marijuana. Many within the industry see wine and marijuana as likely collaborators, not competition, and believe both industries can benefit by cooperation in areas like regulation, tourism, and hospitality.

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Napa County’s 2016 Crops worth a Record $737 Million—Nearly all Wine Grapes

Napa County’s crop report shows 2016 was “exceptional”
Napa County agricultural production rose 33% in 2016, with grape tonnage rising 23%. Cabernet Sauvignon was most plentiful (nearly 67,000 tons produced), followed by Chardonnay (26,000 tons) and Merlot (15,000 tons). Cabernet Franc was sold at the highest price per ton for red grapes at $7,144 per ton, and Roussanne was the highest priced white grape at $4,250 per ton.

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Wasps and Wine: Paper Wasps Contribute to Sour Rot Disease, a Scourge of Wine Industry

Tufts University finds European Paper Wasps as potential sources of sour rot disease
More effective vineyard management strategies could be developed with the discover of the European Paper Wasp’s role in causing sour rot disease. These wasps are present in vineyards during the late summer and feed on sugar-rich, ripe grapes. As research continues, plans to mitigate risk of wasp-caused sour rot disease could reduce millions of dollars of losses suffered by the industry annually.

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