Two weeks ago in this blog, I wrote about predictions for the wine industry in 2021, especially in the light of COVID-19 and concluded that what will happen is anybody's guess. Here, I am writing about some things I would like to see happen, but am not sure that will happen. But a new national administration gives hope for better things. 

An End to the Senseless Tariff War over Wine

No country ever wins trade wars. Retaliatory tariffs hurt both sides. The last escalation in tariffs on European wines extended the 25% duty to all wines, not just rosés and wines over 14% alcohol. But with protectionist Peter Navarro gone, hopefully there will be a more rational approach to trade negotiation. American wines do not need protection. Much wine is exported and there is more to lose with retaliatory tariffs.

More New American Viticultural Areas

During the past four years, only one new AVA has been approved by the TTB division of the U.S. Treasury, the Royal Slope. There are others pending, The Burn of the Columbia and the White Bluffs (home to two of the oldest vineyards in Washington, Sagemoor and Dionysus, planted in the 1970's). AVAs are important for consumers' understanding of the importance of terroir in wine production. An AVA designation such as Red Mountain or the Walla Walla Valley is more meaningful than the broad Columbia Valley.

A Disciplined Approach Toward Normalcy

It is no surprise that COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on the restaurant and wine industry. But until the virus is brought under control through widespread vaccination, things are not going to get much better. In the meantime, masking and social distancing will be necessary to slow the spread. Things are going to be tough for quite a while longer. The new ventilation standards will help a bit, but the way forward is going to take a lot more effort and discipline. This may sound like editorializing, but that's the reality.

More Support for Wineries, Retailers and Restaurants

This is a matter of survival. Buy more wine, get take-out from restaurants. Just do all you can to help.