MO Wine Industry Seeks Winery Definition Change

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2 Responses

  1. Jesse Dale says:

    Our family has started a winery, in the old fashioned sense of the word, and would fully support any of these measures. The current appellation system in the state, although well intended, is basically worthless locally and for visitors. Unlike Europe, where the standards mean something and a designation tells a consumer which grapes were used and dictates the processes, our system only tells the geographic location in the state. As long as a business sells wine and has the proper license, it can call itself a winery. We are just outside of the Ozark Highlands, and because we aren’t actually within the AVA, we can’t put “Estate Wine” on our label, putting us in the same category as these restaurants and “wineries” that don’t even attempt to make their own wine. It is frustrating. I will admit that we supplement our own vineyard produced wine with juice that we source from other locations, but we make it very clear to the consumer when we do so. If we ever want to come close to the kind of credibility that California and Europe have achieved, we need to tighten the standards. The rating system sounds brilliant, actually, strictly because of its simplicity. It’s simple enough for new to novice wine drinkers to understand and it’s a beginning step toward the AVA system, that frankly, our state is not ready for yet in either wine making or drinking. A better start is getting people making wine from grapes grown around here and customers becoming familiar with them. The Missouri wine industry and the customers/tourists deserve better, the rating system would be a good start.

    • Mark Ganchiff says:

      Hi Jesse,
      Thanks for your informative comment and the interesting observation about the AVA system. We’ll keep following this winery definition issue, push the debate along a bit and hopefully, in the end, wineries that make their own wine using predominantly local grapes will get the credit they deserve.
      all the best
      (using Mark’s log-in)