China Finds California Wine Pairs Well With a Trade War
Retaliatory tariffs are a blow to exporters increasingly catering to young, newly wealthy Chinese looking for bottles with cachet.
Cabernet isn’t the most obvious pawn in a trade war between the United States and China. Airplanes and their parts are the leading American export to China. Soybeans and wheat grow in Trump country.
But China’s selection of wine as a target of retaliatory tariffs did not surprise Michael Honig, a winemaker in the Napa Valley, where the tariff would hit hardest.
“The reason the government realizes they should penalize us is, we are branded,” said Mr. Honig, the president of Honig Vineyard and Winery. “It’s hard to go after a wheat grower, because who is a wheat grower? It’s a commodity. We are not a commodity.”
The news was an unwelcome turn of events for Mr. Honig and many California winemakers, who have spent years trying to carve out a place in the hearts of wealthy Chinese consumers. That hard wor..