In and effort to maximize profits, a loophole in the law is allowing some American wine makers to blend up to 25% foreign juice into wine labeled ‘American’. The law does not allow the foreign wine to be blended if the wine is designated as Californian. Companies like The Wine Group, the third largest US Winery, are taking advantage of amazingly cheap wine from countries like Australia.
You would think there was enough California wine to use, but this is a recent phenomenon. You could say we are experiencing the more negative effects of globalisation firsthand,’ Karen Ross, president of the CAWG (California Association of Winegrape Growers) told decanter.com.
Ross comments part of the reason imports are on the rise is to meet the demand for hot varietals like Pinot Noir.
So why is this a bad thing? More affordable wine for all right? Well, the average American wine consumer is confused enough as it is, and instead of benefiting either country with brand recognition, all is lost behind a non descriptive label. Practices like this also hurt the Grower/Winery relationship, forcing local growers to compete on an uneven playing field.