Grapes of Wrath: The Wine Recession

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We love boxed wines and Trader Joe’s Two-Buck Chuck as much as the next frugalista, but there is a hidden price to this purchase.

Napa Valley, Calif., is supposed to be this country’s secret weapon for producing excellent (and expensive) wine, but this year, several vineyards in the area may face foreclosure.

Bloomberg news reports that “as many as 10 wineries and vineyards in Napa will change hands in distressed sales or foreclosures this year and next, up from none in 2008.” And some experts are placing the blame squarely on bargain wines.

According to Bloomberg, “the recession has set in motion a ‘secular change,’ with budget-conscious consumers trading down to less expensive wines.” The result is that Americans are relying more on “cheaper imports” from countries like Chile and Argentina.

However, there are apparently 30 wineries for sale in California, Oregon and Washington, so if you’ve been dreaming of working on a vineyard, now could be your chance. Just be warned, it can cost more than $100,000 per acre for land on a vineyard in these areas. But on the bright side, working at a vineyard was on our list of cool outdoor careers.

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