Thursday, July 03, 2008

Happy Fourth of July!

Here's to a day of potato salad, hot dogs on the grill and fireworks. If you live in Walla Walla or perhaps visiting the area, chances are great you will be enjoying some Walla Walla Sweet Onions in your potato salad and even sprinkled on your grilled burgers and dogs. You'll probably take delight in the naturally sweet, dark red and juicy Klicker strawberries over ice cream or your favorite shortcake recipe. Of course, you will have an excellent assortment of Walla Walla wines to enjoy with your bbq and later everyone will find their favorite seat "in the house" to watch the public firework display. For me, these holidays force me to slow down, maybe get caught up on few house and yard projects and most of all, make the day about family and friends.

It was on July 4, 1776, we claimed our independence from Britain and what we now understand to be "Democracy" was born that day. Every day thousands leave their homeland to come to the "land of the free and the home of the brave" so they can begin their own "American Dream." And that American Dream is what the US wine industry is all about. In California, settlers from Spain, Mexico, Hungary and Italy brought their vines and winemaking skills to the new world. In Walla Walla, we are witness to many young French winemakers who left the old world to follow their dreams of claiming a chief winemaking position or perhaps owning a winery in America, as in France those positions are usually left to generations of the family chateau.

In America, we take our liberty for granted - - after all, that's what America is all about - - an earthly paradise, a land of riches and abundance, where the natives led lives of simplicity and freedom. Unfortunately, something that can be as simple as choosing a bottle of wine from a different state appellation in America is not so simple anymore. It seems as if our "American Dream" in the wine industry now has barriers and borders that we are not allowed to cross. The wine consumer in Kansas, Missouri, Tennesee and many other states in America will never know what a wine from Walla Walla tastes like especially in the comfort of their own home. Unless they visit the area, they will never be able to discover other wines as long as we have federal regulations that restrict wine shipments between the states in America. We definitely want and should have "wine without borders."

"The best way to enhance freedom in other lands is to demonstrate here that our democratic system is worthy of emulation" - - Jimmy Carter, 39th US President

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