Thursday, January 25, 2007

Virginia Wine..Let them distribute

Someone explain to me why it is we cannot see the greater good in some things. Now I am sure that those companies here in Virginia that distribute wine across the region will argue that self-distribution by local wineries would hurt their business, but the fact remains its business they did not earn to begin with. Anyone who has ever owned a restaurant, this blogger included, knows that this is simply not the case. A small Virginia winery placed in an inventory of a huge distribution warehouse will remain simply that...small. The distrubtor does not have a vested interest to market that wine on an equal basis with say some nice Cab from Napa or that Yellowtail. Volume folks.Volume. The small wineries of Virginia being forced to market their own wines across the state, calling on restaurants and spending more money to get their wine in fornt of the public then losses as the distributor acts as middleman. There was a time when a restaurant owner with an ABC license could build relationships with the wineries , have tastng dinners done, etc..because their was a shared interest together in growing the wineries brand. This is exactly what the wholesalers do not want. Their agents or sales folks come calling with samples of their wines that they seek to move. They have no desire to move Virginia wines. They will sell them for sure, but again only if requested. The margins are thinner and theres less grape in supply thus less volume in terms of cases.
Let the wineries self-distribute. I hope that Sen. John Watkins next door in Powhatan can make self-distribution a reality for these small business owners. Let the wineries grow their business through hard work and not require their brand to rely on the service of a distributor. Do they honestly feel that the distributor will provide the same level of service to the customer as the family who crushed the grapes and bottled the wine. I think not.

Cash Proffer Reality

Our Board Of Supervisors has determined that a raise in the cash proffer; the amount the developer of a parcel would pay to offset county services, is not neccessary. The rate remains at a maximum of 15,600. At a time when our general Assemble continues the debate on funding for transportation woes throughout the state it is as if theis Board is in a state of prayer that the State will somehow come to the rescue. Instead of making sure our own house; ie county is in order we are heading down the path of other juristictions that have failed their citizens in this area. How. By seeking to grow and attract Virginians to Chesterfield we are asking folks to come and join us in our great county and spending alot of money to get them here but then once the arrive at the party realize we forgot to get a caterer. Thats the reality. Across the board we will undergo painful growth not "managed" growth. We have overcrowded schools in areas, trailers outside some schools, neccessary underfunded road projects, re-zoning issues unresolved all the while more and more people arrive each quarter. We are selling the dream but delivering anything but. Proffers is a neccessary step, and the increase proposed to 22,600, would have benefited the county even if building permits trend lower. What the Board is saying is that they do not forsee an increase in expenses for county services, roads and other projects that will need to be funded eventhough we have just learned that new schools will be twice what was projected to construct based on current market conditions.
By not raising the proffer our Board feels compelled to make the citizens of the county pay for it. Developers win again....we lose again.