California's Gavin Newsom orders wineries shut, keeps his own open (updated)

See update at the end

It is good to be PlumpJack.

That's the name of California governor Newsom's winery, founded by Newsom himself and his good friend Gordon Getty.  And by a wild coincidence, PlumpJack's somehow exempt from shutdown based on the accident of its location, tony Napa county, which is exempt from Newsom's latest order to shut down.

Others, not so much.  According to Fox26:

FRESNO, Calif. — Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered the closures of certain businesses across 19 counties in California Wednesday, in response to the growing daily number of novel coronavirus cases (COVID-19) in recent weeks. Those counties included Fresno, Kern, Kings, Merced and Tulare in the Central Valley.

The closures included restaurants, wineries and tasting rooms, movie theaters, family entertainment centers, zoos and museums, cardrooms, and bars. Gov. Newsom's winery and tasting room in Napa Valley remained open as of the July 1, 2020 order.

Not so lucky are the big wineries, the E & J Gallo operations, including its huge operation in Livingston, California, the world's biggest.  Gallo's had the unlucky accident of being situated in Merced County, in the state's center and on the shutdown list.  Its vast winery and wine-tasting rooms are closed.  Its workers will likely be laid off.  Too bad about that.  Maybe PlumpJack can buy up the pieces once the post-bankruptcy fire sale is on.

Newsom justified the entire thing as part of a county formula — Napa has fewer COVID cases than Merced or any of the other agricultural counties now being essentially death-sentenced.  "On monitoring list for 3+ days, new restrictions in place," so the state's phrasing goes.  For some weird reason, Alameda County was not included in this measure.  That might just be because billionaire Elon Musk of Tesla fame threatened to remove his entire Tesla manufacturing operation to a friendlier state if his car operations were not permitted to open.  Alameda, which includes Oakland, is a county where you can bet the COVID caseload is big, and were it not on this "no attestation" and not on the monitoring list, the county would otherwise be shut down.  More to the point, it suggests that the shutdown list might just be more about political considerations than public health.

This highlights that the problem with these shutdowns is unequal treatment.  Huge industries are being offered a bonanza new market or else a death sentence based on their locations.  The blanket shutdown lumps in every business and every community.  A hobo camp located in the middle of farmworker country in the Central Valley might be a locus of new cases, but the rest of the county might be largely untouched.  Nevertheless, averages — with no consideration as to what is going on or where the infections are coming from — just shut the whole county down.

For the wine industry, this is particularly galling, given the extreme standards of cleanliness that must be practiced to make a good wine, whether one is in wealthy, chic Napa or the tumbledown Central Valley.  

Locals are noticing, and the matter is trending on Twitter.  Here's a sampling of the local headlines:

Central Valley wineries ordered to close, while Governor's winery remains open —Fox26

Sour grapes emerge as most Calif. wineries close while Newsom’s winery remains open —San Joaquin Valley Sun

And there were others.

Wine for me, shutdown for thee.  And these just happen to be counties that can credibly be called "red."  It's hard not to think the shutdown is punishment, and virtue-signaling, given the high costs of the wineries, as well as all the businesses must pay for this, while others get off scot-free.

If Newsom had any decency, in any case, he'd shut down his own winery in solidarity with the others.  It would be the fair thing to do until he can figure out how to govern sustainably in the time of COVID, as the leftie phrase goes.

Update via Red State

Today PlumpJack Winery representatives are calling people who had tasting room reservations for the 4th of July weekend to inform them that “due to logistical issues” they’ll be closed through Monday. RedState has obtained a voicemail delivered to one potential customer. The representative said:

“I am just calling to let you know that I see your reservation for this coming Monday, July 6, for PlumpJack Winery. I am calling to let you know that we – due to logistical issues we will actually be closed this coming weekend into Monday, and I will be canceling your reservation.

We are happy to transfer you to Odette Estate Winery if you would like a reservation at that time, at 12:00, but for now I will be canceling the reservation. So if you would like to transfer it to Odette Estate Winery at 12:00 PM for two people on Monday, July 6, please let me know….”

So apparently while PlumpJack, the flagship winery, will be closed, at least one other Newsom-owned property will be open – at least for now.

Image credit: Detail from photo by Financial Times, via Wikimedia CommonsCC BY-SA 2.0.

See update at the end

It is good to be PlumpJack.

That's the name of California governor Newsom's winery, founded by Newsom himself and his good friend Gordon Getty.  And by a wild coincidence, PlumpJack's somehow exempt from shutdown based on the accident of its location, tony Napa county, which is exempt from Newsom's latest order to shut down.

Others, not so much.  According to Fox26:

FRESNO, Calif. — Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered the closures of certain businesses across 19 counties in California Wednesday, in response to the growing daily number of novel coronavirus cases (COVID-19) in recent weeks. Those counties included Fresno, Kern, Kings, Merced and Tulare in the Central Valley.

The closures included restaurants, wineries and tasting rooms, movie theaters, family entertainment centers, zoos and museums, cardrooms, and bars. Gov. Newsom's winery and tasting room in Napa Valley remained open as of the July 1, 2020 order.

Not so lucky are the big wineries, the E & J Gallo operations, including its huge operation in Livingston, California, the world's biggest.  Gallo's had the unlucky accident of being situated in Merced County, in the state's center and on the shutdown list.  Its vast winery and wine-tasting rooms are closed.  Its workers will likely be laid off.  Too bad about that.  Maybe PlumpJack can buy up the pieces once the post-bankruptcy fire sale is on.

Newsom justified the entire thing as part of a county formula — Napa has fewer COVID cases than Merced or any of the other agricultural counties now being essentially death-sentenced.  "On monitoring list for 3+ days, new restrictions in place," so the state's phrasing goes.  For some weird reason, Alameda County was not included in this measure.  That might just be because billionaire Elon Musk of Tesla fame threatened to remove his entire Tesla manufacturing operation to a friendlier state if his car operations were not permitted to open.  Alameda, which includes Oakland, is a county where you can bet the COVID caseload is big, and were it not on this "no attestation" and not on the monitoring list, the county would otherwise be shut down.  More to the point, it suggests that the shutdown list might just be more about political considerations than public health.

This highlights that the problem with these shutdowns is unequal treatment.  Huge industries are being offered a bonanza new market or else a death sentence based on their locations.  The blanket shutdown lumps in every business and every community.  A hobo camp located in the middle of farmworker country in the Central Valley might be a locus of new cases, but the rest of the county might be largely untouched.  Nevertheless, averages — with no consideration as to what is going on or where the infections are coming from — just shut the whole county down.

For the wine industry, this is particularly galling, given the extreme standards of cleanliness that must be practiced to make a good wine, whether one is in wealthy, chic Napa or the tumbledown Central Valley.  

Locals are noticing, and the matter is trending on Twitter.  Here's a sampling of the local headlines:

Central Valley wineries ordered to close, while Governor's winery remains open —Fox26

Sour grapes emerge as most Calif. wineries close while Newsom’s winery remains open —San Joaquin Valley Sun

And there were others.

Wine for me, shutdown for thee.  And these just happen to be counties that can credibly be called "red."  It's hard not to think the shutdown is punishment, and virtue-signaling, given the high costs of the wineries, as well as all the businesses must pay for this, while others get off scot-free.

If Newsom had any decency, in any case, he'd shut down his own winery in solidarity with the others.  It would be the fair thing to do until he can figure out how to govern sustainably in the time of COVID, as the leftie phrase goes.

Update via Red State

Today PlumpJack Winery representatives are calling people who had tasting room reservations for the 4th of July weekend to inform them that “due to logistical issues” they’ll be closed through Monday. RedState has obtained a voicemail delivered to one potential customer. The representative said:

“I am just calling to let you know that I see your reservation for this coming Monday, July 6, for PlumpJack Winery. I am calling to let you know that we – due to logistical issues we will actually be closed this coming weekend into Monday, and I will be canceling your reservation.

We are happy to transfer you to Odette Estate Winery if you would like a reservation at that time, at 12:00, but for now I will be canceling the reservation. So if you would like to transfer it to Odette Estate Winery at 12:00 PM for two people on Monday, July 6, please let me know….”

So apparently while PlumpJack, the flagship winery, will be closed, at least one other Newsom-owned property will be open – at least for now.

Image credit: Detail from photo by Financial Times, via Wikimedia CommonsCC BY-SA 2.0.