COMMENTARY

Good to Be Back

By Hilary Berg, OWP Editor

Believe it or not, during the past two months, I have been one busy writer.

During my maternity leave, I traded my keyboard for a pen and immersed myself in crafting thank you notes to our friends and family for all the well wishes and gifts for our new baby boy, Theo. To those I may have missed, thank you!

Becoming a mom has been a wonderful experience, but after two months of 24-7 child care - no doubt, this is hard work - plus hours and hours of Oprah, Dr. Phil, the Home & Garden Network (I am now officially addicted to this channel) - I realize balance is best, and it's good to be back to work.

Don't get me wrong: When I am at my desk, I constantly think about what Theo is up to and how he is doing and whether or not he is getting enough kisses and cuddles. I miss him greatly, but his daycare is wonderful, and he's already made friends - O.K., newborns Mary Beth and Kate don't know Theo exists yet, but in a matter of months, they will be become the best of friends ... I hope.

Returning to work just in time for one of our biggest issues of the year has been a bit challenging. But after giving birth, I knew I could handle most anything.

As you turn the pages, you will see I found my stride and gathered some interesting articles for this issue, but one in particular is more than intriguing; it is quite serious and a must-read.

In "Trying Times for Oregon Wine," Associate Editor Karl Klooster addresses the economic realities that have affected the Oregon wine industry and the potential damage of proposed legislation introduced in Congress in mid-April.

HR 5034, also known as "The Comprehensive Alcohol Regulatory Effectiveness (CARE) Act of 2010," would restrict direct-to-consumer wine shipments across state lines. According to Karl, this will deeply affect our industry because "this is a sales avenue that many smaller Oregon wineries consider their salvation."

If this bill is passed, you can count on hard times for many Oregon wineries as well as small wineries across the entire country.

I urge you to read Karl's editorial and voice your opinion to those in Washington, D.C. OWP believes this law is unfair, unreasonable and must be stopped.

On a lighter note, you will find the Memorial Day Weekend event listings for tasting rooms and wineries across the state.

It is a great time to visit Oregon Wine Country because many 2008s - oh man, they are good - will be released during the three-day weekend, and most wineries offer great discounts for case sales. Plus, who can resist live music, good food and, of course, world-class wine?

After resisting wine for nine months, I must say, it's good to be back and be able to enjoy the fruits of our labor. (No pun intended).

How I missed my evening glass of wine. 

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