Government shutdown, how it affects the wine industry

MEDFORD, Ore. — With no long term deal reached on the shutdown, the local beer and wine industry are still watching closely.

The government shutdown has been a concern for many wineries across the nation and locally because they couldn’t introduce new products.

Local winemaker, Pallet Wine Company, serves more than 30 Oregon wineries. Owner and winemaker, Linda Donovan said the government shutdown has only impacted about five percent of her clients.

“It really hasn’t affected us yet. We could be days, weeks, months before we get those approvals,” said Donovan.

Those approvals are for new labels on wine.  Those must be approved by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, a federal agency.

“If somebody is planning a new facility or somebody is launching a new product, then they will definitely feel that impact,” added Donovan.

Dr. Peter Adesman, the owner of Peter William Vineyards, was one of the few locals already affected. His ‘Robin’s Red’ has been delayed.

“I’m personally delighted to see the government back in business again,” said Dr. Adesman.

Last year, the agency approved 190,000 labels but depending on how fast the agency can get back to work, it could still take some time to get through the backlog.

If the shutdown begins again in three weeks, it could create more problems for wineries as many begin bottling their wine again in mid-February.

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