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I Luv Summer – Wednesday July 19th, 2006

July 26, 2008
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Monday:

I love summer, but right now its just too hot. I shudder to think how I managed two bbq's this weekend with another tonight.  Well its 95 today and it just doesn't look any better on  the temp front and on my wine cellar.

 

When it's hot, I tend to drink whites, and wow they've been hit rather hard lately. But my complaining isn't the basis for this, it's the result of a good thing.

 

Well after my tour of the county I thought I had enough white to last awhile, but I've had the luck to be around people who have never had any local wine and really liked them. The dry crisp wines seem to really work when it's this hot. And that is my point; I took several bottles to a bbq yesterday and they were universally liked. Not necessarily by wine snobs but the main result was that they wished they could get them where they lived. When I told them that due to the ridiculous policies of the LCBO that forces them out of the system they were a tad dismayed.

 

Why can't the provincial government get it thru their head that the wine industry can be an engine for job creation for this area. Windsor and the surrounding areas have been hit very hard by the restructuring of the car industry, yet we rank 4th in average income, Lamington is voted the best place to live and  due to the depressed home values people can live quite well down here. Yup. there's worse places to live.

 

The wine industry can be an engine to help transition this area from manufacturing only to something much more. Though owning a winery has been called the easiest way to lose a fortune, no one can argue that it doesn't bring a lot of money to an area. One only has to look to Niagara Falls. Once a relatively sleepy area with only the tacky capital of Canada  (Niagara Falls), it now is booming and largely due to the wine industry.

 

 

What do we have?? London an hour or so away, about 3-400000 people in the county and then one other little benefit. We have Metro Detroit. Without a doubt there are two things they have. One is a lousy football team, and the other is a ton of money, even despite the auto industry issues. Add to this, gas at $3+: going to Kingsville is a lot closer and a hell of a lot cheaper (since the family  suv gets about 2 mpg) than Traverse City. All along the lake are American cottagers so how tough will it be to get more tourism. Metro Detroit has several million people let alone  getting into  Chicago and Cleveland markets.

 

For that to happen we need to get a little further down the development chain but we are on our way. Sure we need more wineries (they seem to be coming), good restaurants, artistic stuff et al. Remember we already have a lot of good things like the festivals at the river, Willistead Concours D'Elegance, and that great wine festival at Fort Malden. And what will a bustling appellation bring us?? Restaurants, hotels, wine purchases, and tourism, which will all result in  job growth. Maybe not the 30/hr Chrysler jobs, but it's a start, the spin off would be excellent. Like the casino, the money would largely come from outside the area thus being pure cash injections to the community.

 

Then why do I despair over the actions of the LCBO. Well if the people who sampled the wine last night were able to buy it at the LCBO they would be happy to buy it. Unfortunately, most vintners would lose a ton selling to them, and that my friends is the reality of our nanny state.

 

Here would be a fine example for our illustrious provincial government to allow some entrepreneurial activity, but somehow I cannot see that clown college doing anything intelligent. Simply why couldn't the province allow INDEPENDENT wine stores within the appellation. I do not mean the kiosks that are limited to one brand but real stores which are liberated from the pricing and stocking policies. Here one could sample and buy wines from a variety of vintners who are sold/stocked on the basis of the quality of the wine not necessarily how much they can produce.

 

The idea of being able to go to a store and buy/sample a Sanson, Colio, Pelee,or  Mastronardi all lined up against each other would be a winner. Place it in Windsor, Kingsville and Amherst burg and it would give exposure to our wines and keep the profits here, not Toronto, yes they will have to get their cut but at least with the proper rules the vintners could actually make some money.

 

 

After seeing the debacles of the pie police, the two high schools(only 50% over budget) being built here, the pit bull law ( Clayton Ruby will win this one for the good guys), the hand gun ban, and the electrical policies somehow I doubt that there guys would do anything to help out a fledgling industry.

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