June 2018 Issue of Wines & Vines

A New Role, But the Same Commitment to Community

by Andrew Adams

IT IS A GREAT HONOR and privilege to write my first Editor's Letter for Wines & Vines magazine, having been promoted to the editor post in April. I am following in the immensely qualified footsteps of Jim Gordon, who we are lucky to still have writing for us in the role of editor at large.
     I've been with the magazine since 2011 and before that worked in the cellar and lab of Starmont winery in Napa, Calif. Prior to my time in wine production, I was an ink-stained reporter and editor in the grinding world of daily newspapers. During my stint in the newspaper industry (which I left during its free fall in the 2009 recession) I was lucky to have only worked for small, family owned publications. All of these papers had the same commitment to local, community journalism to serve their subscribers.
     Some may perceive working for a trade publication as a departure from that type of journalism, but I see it differently.
     Just a few months ago, I was in a Napa city park idly watching my toddler son scramble on the play structure and I happened to catch snippets of conversation among the parents around me. More than half of them were talking about the wine business, from discussing varying barrel stacking methods for caves, bottling runs or the next sales trip. I imagine it's a common experience for anyone living in Napa, Santa Rosa or any other wine country town, where there are only a few degrees of separation from the wine business.
     This business is something more than just a paycheck for the people living in those communities and working in wine. That was clear in how our communities have rallied in the months since the devastating fires of 2017. That sense of community is not unique to Northern California, as one of my greatest pleasures in traveling for this magazine has been discovering a similar close-knit sense of community in eastern Washington, Texas and the other fast-growing wine regions of North America.
     The motivation for much of the reporting I've been most proud of in my newspaper career was a sense of service to the community. This included holding elected officials accountable while objectively reporting on local government, covering crime and courts and providing accurate and timely information during periods of crisis. I see that as my role now, as the editor of a publication serving a small but tight-knit community of winemakers and other wine industry professionals.
     A key element of my responsibility will be helping you, our readers, navigate the changes of our industry whether that's through practical articles on winemaking or timely reports based on the most accurate and comprehensive wine industry market data. For all of the recent success of the American wine industry, there remain many challenges that include barriers to market; competition from beer, spirits and now cannabis and burdensome local, state and federal regulations.
     No matter what may lie ahead for the wine industry, myself and the rest of my colleagues at Wines & Vines will remain steadfast in our service to the greater wine industry community to be a resource of quality information on how to grow the best grapes possible, make better wine and sell it at a sustainable profit.

-Andrew Adams

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