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Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Wine Tasting Tip #7 - Corporate Wineries

Some folks want to support local family-owned wineries. This is a great idea, but this doesn't mean the ones owned by large companies produce lousy wine. It doesn't mean if a favorite family-owned winery gets bought out by a corporation the wine will automatically go down hill.

Being part of a large group of wineries can mean better equipment for making wine and access to better vineyards, for instance. Of course, it can also mean the administration is more worried about quarterly profits than quality. When a smaller operation gets purchased much of the staff may leave -- and that could affect quality though not right away. So it can go either way. Just don't discount a winery solely because it's owned by Gallo, Treasury, Constellation, Kendall Jackson, etc. 

If your philosophy is to buy local whenever possible then, yes, visit with local families who grow the grapes and make the wine. When you do this in Sonoma County you are directly providing for local families. For every Kendall Jackson or Chateau St. Jean there are dozens of small, family operations scratching out a living while following their passion.