Wineries affected by Chinese tariff

Barrels of wine at Naumes Crush and Fermentation. (Carsyn/News 10)

Some wineries in Southern Oregon are affected by tariffs imposed by China and the United States. According to Naumes Crush and Fermentation, 80 percent of wineries they bottle for use Chinese glass. Now there is a tax on the glass that is upping the prices.

Chris Graves, the manager of Naumes Crush and Fermentation, said the quality of Chinese glass is good, and the price is typically low, but that was not always the case.

"I remember people starting to talk about Chinese glass in the early 2000s. At that time it was mixed reports, I believe people were having problems with quality. The prices were good but people were having problems with the glasses breaking. Over the course of a couple of years, they started to up the quality of the glass. I believe competition drove the quality up, where now the quality is just as good as domestic products out of Canada or Mexico," said Graves.

The issue is small, but some of the wineries that Naumes Crush and Fermentation bottle for, have switched to different glass because of the rise in price.

"The problem is the tax is adding a small amount to the cost of the glass," said Graves.

According to Naumes, some people are worried about potential contaminants in the Chinese glass, like lead, but that's never been a problem for them.

They aren't greatly affected by the tax, but they say some of their suppliers have switched to a different glass after the rise in price.

"The idea is that it is supposed to fix issues with China and the United States, but the truth is, we're paying the price for all of this stuff which wasn't supposed to happen. So, I'm finding my prices going up and I don't like that very much," said Graves.

For now, Naumes will continue to use Chinese glass.

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