(p. A13) On May 27, our Napa Valley winery will pull eight cases of Cabernet Sauvignon out of Charleston Harbor in South Carolina. We placed them there six months ago, protected from the elements, following similar experiments in the past two years. The cold water and the tides seem to expedite the aging process, and we believe that our ocean-aged fine wine–which we’ve trademarked as Aquaoir–could revolutionize how vintners around the world think about winemaking. The only obstacle: the federal government.
For more than a year, our winery has been targeted by the Treasury Department, specifically, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. The agency believes our product is unfit for human consumption, despite an utter lack of evidence, and it has threatened to revoke our winemaking license. Washington doesn’t recognize this wine for what it is: the product of entrepreneurship and experimentation.
. . .
We don’t envision expanding into vast underwater wine-storage development. We simply want to try to understand the ocean-aging effects so that we can try to simulate them on dry land. It would be lamentable if brazen federal overreach blocked the potential for innovation in an industry that could be on the cusp of a true sea change. Only in Washington could you raise a glass to that.
For the full commentary, see:
JIM DYKE JR. “The Wine-Dark Sea of Regulation; We aged wine at the bottom of the ocean–then the feds threatened our license.” The Wall Street Journal (Thurs., May 21, 2015): A13.
(Note: ellipsis added.)
(Note: the date of the online version of the commentary is MAY 20, 2015.)