As I sit in the middle of what has to be referred to as the holiday rush, there are still signs that the wine industry as a whole has some issues. Outside of the standard complaints about big distributors and their affect on smaller production wineries, the direct shipping assault led by wholesalers through HR 5034, there is still the major elephant in the room so to speak, the wider economy in the United States is still recovering from a deep recession.
While the wider economy is certainly improving, unemployment peculiarly in California is incredibly high. For wineries that unemployment rate along with consumer spending in the state of California is especially important not only because of the mammoth population in my home state, but also because Californians spend more and spend more per bottle than any other large state in the country. I think it’s important to remember that the combination of these negative economic factors has stressed smaller wineries to the breaking point and unfortunately some still look to be going over the edge.
Nicolas Cole Cellars has a small following among wine enthusiasts, especially those in the northeast where the winery became something of a cult favorite at Wine Library, but alas the winery is closing its doors at the end of December.
It’s a sad thing to see, especially as a small family owned business in the industry. While we’ve been incredibly excited at our results during our first full year in business, this serves as a stark reminder that nothing should be taken for granted.