Mark Aselstine
 
December 9, 2011 | Mark Aselstine

The Rich Get Richer


If you’ve been around the wine industry for any length of time, you probably realize that AVA’s do matter and are contentious. Let’s face it, the average consumer is more likely to buy a wine from Napa Valley than Paso Robles.

The biggest news here is that the Russian River Valley has been expanded to include a massive Gallo owned vineyard.

It’s an interesting situation. In Sonoma, most winemakers and vineyard owners wouldn’t feel comfortable taking a stand against Gallo. That doesn’t mean that Gallo is being heavy handed here and they’ve certainly been a good steward of the Sonoma Country wine scene for a generation, but does this really help the Russian River AVA?

I don’t think Napa Valley would carry the same significance if wineries like Mondavi didn’t help put it on the map, but in 2011 does it matter any more especially with the Russian River Valley already a household name?  I think it is telling that the Russian River Valley grape growing association originally opposed the expansion, before becoming neutral.
 

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