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June 10, 2011
Wine. . . Feeding So Many People!
In this ever-growing world, there are so many entities that depend on wine. Many companies and individuals make their living off of the wine industry. It employs more folks than you can possibly imagine. Here's my partial list!

First there are those at the end of the supply chain. These would be distributors, sales folks, grocery stores, wine shops, and restaurants. For a lot of folks here, it's their entire livelihood. And for so many others, it's key to the success of their businesses.

Once we have the wine, it then needs to be opened. When I was a kid in Paris, my grandmother Hélène taught me how to open wine (that is a grandmother's job, right?). She cut the foil off with a carbon blade Opinel knife, put the bottle between her knees, use the old-fashioned tire-bouchon which has absolutely no leverage mechanism against the bottle, and the 'pop' ensued, with maybe some minor  spillage.  Today,   there
are a variety of ways to open a wine bottle, including wing corkscrews, motorized corkscrews, the Rabbit, and Screwpull. If you want class, you can opt for a Laguiole. All these folks are wholly dependent on the wine industry without a doubt.

Moving back into the process, there are the wineries themselves, the people they employ to make and market the wine, and the equipment and services they use from many outside sources. We also need to bear in mind the multitude of volunteer, part-time and full-time folks who manage and harvest the vineyards.

Also factored in are the many equipment vendors. Those that make crushers and destemmers, the many pumps, the stainless steel jacketed fermenters and all the plumbing and glycol chillers that go with it. Then you need the Glycol from outfits like Dynalene. Then there's bottling and labeling machines and carousels for higher volumes. Of course, there are portable bottling outfits that will come to your winery as well. When you're done bottling, you need closures. Screw tops, composite, glass and cork are all offerings from various vendors, like American Star Cork and others. And we could never forget the wine-critical oak industry from America,  France,  Hungary and other places.
From there, there are the bottle suppliers, the cardboard case and wooden display box suppliers.

Important also, is the lab equipment, from folks like Mettler-Toledo, Anton Paar, Ohaus, Hanna and many others. Also the folks who supply the consumables and standards for these machines
- names like Ricca, Aqua Solutions, EMD and more. And don't forget the labs like ETS, Vinquiry and Scott Labs.
We also won't be forgetting the Tax and Trade Bureau, affectionately known as the TTB. They need to know a lot to tax you correctly. If the alcohol level (EtoH) is above 14%, the wine is taxed at a higher rate than if it is below 14%. And oh, if it has bubbles, that'll cost you 68 cents per bottle, triple the tax of still table wine! Bubbles are truly a luxury item.

Now let's make sure to remember the education sector, such as the folks at UC Davis, Walla Walla Community College, International Wine Guild, Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET) and the list goes on and on. And we cannot forget the tasters, the rating outfits, the wine writers and bloggers!

Lastly, the wine dogs who work for food and scraps, looking after their folks and the wine. Woof!


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