Assemblyman Tom Daly (D-Anaheim) introduced resolution HR9 earlier this year, and Ridge Vineyards wants it to pass!
Jon Bonné has a fine article on the subject out today (found here); here is an excerpt:
Daly’s resolution, HR 9, has solely symbolic value, but it is a significant step for vineyardists in the state who are hoping to keep antique vines in the ground. Given the state’s fondness for frequent replanting, this can be harder than it might appear, which is why in 2010, several prominent vintners, including Ridge Vineyards and Turley Wine Cellars, created the nonprofit Historic Vineyard Society. The society’s main task has been to create a registry of more than 200 sites throughout California that date back as far as the 1880s, or earlier. Their hope is to find incentives to keep these old vines in the ground, perhaps a tax break, but the vote in the legislature is a first official step.
Our very own David Gates is deeply involved in the Historic Vineyards Society; more about David and the HVS can be found here.
I spoke at length with David about HVS and HR9 recently, and our conversation basically boiled down to this: Recognizing, in our contemporary post-needs-fulfillment corporate-capitalism market-based economy, that the only legitimately promising opportunity to effect change is to essentially fiscally incentivize it, how then do we accordingly incentivize preserving vineyards that produce less fruit than do younger vines? The answer? You have to educate people about these vineyards, what they’re capable of producing, and how a slightly higher investment returns a much higher result. Put another way, if consumers prove themselves willing to spend a bit more for true and unduplicatable quality in their wines (the sort that only old vines can produce), then growers will in turn opt to preserve, as opposed to tear out and replant, legitimately rare and beautiful old vine properties, and producers will in turn opt to make wines from these amazing vineyards.
Which means it comes down to us!
Support HR9! Support the HVS! Support real and true quality!
It’s your money, you worked hard for it, what do you want it to stand for?
Let it stand for the rare, the beautiful, and the true. Let it stand for HR9! Let it stand for the HVS! Let it stand for the Old Vines!
Drink the rare, the beautiful, and the true. Drink the historic.
And today, drink the historic, and make history.
Would you have this beauty pulled out?
I’m not saying that Historic Vines live on the same moral plane as Predator Drones, Post-Traumatic-Stress Disorder, or Animal Cruelty, but what I am positing is a psychic disconnect that unites them all; meaning, if you only KNEW what really went on, would you REALLY feel the same?
Come and sit with a vine. You’ll be converted. Siddhartha went to the Bodhi tree to find enlightenment; what awaits under the grapevine?