Thursday, January 13, 2011
After seeing Barefoot Cellars (a California Wine) served at Governor Brownback's Inauguration, Grace Hill President Dave Sollo decided to take up a letter writing campaign. Below is the full version of a letter he sent to the Wichita Eagle. An abbreviated version was published in the Eagle today.
I learned this weekend that Iowa has nearly 100 wineries comprising 5.75% of wine sales in the state. I also learned that Missouri does even better with 8.0% of wine sales coming from their very own wineries. This is real economic clout providing jobs and a healthy stream of tax revenue.
Unfortunately, our state has a history of neglecting the wine industry. Even our very own Kansas State Fair allows for the sale of Barefoot Cellars California table wine in the same building that is supposed to promote Kansas wines. Is not the Kansas State Fair about Kansas? I bet the California State Fair doesn’t serve Kansas wines there. Barefoot Cellars California table wine has no place at our state fair and no place at the Kansas Governor’s Inauguration.
As Wichitans, we support our local businesses. We buy local sweet corn, local peaches, local blackberries, local meats and so forth. Dollars spent on products raised here are important to building a strong economy and a healthy lifestyle. Next time you see the governor, thank him for his service, but also please remind him to raise a glass of Kansas wine the next time he throws a party. And if he’s still listening, you might remind him to get the California wine out of the Kansas State Fair too.
Grace Hill Winery
Vice President of the Kansas Grape Growers and Winemakers Association