Local wine cellar hit by supply chain struggles

LIBERTY LAKE, Wash.– The supply chain issues plaguing the nation are causing a shortage of just about anything and everything.

That includes wine bottles and barrels.

Liberty Lakes Wine Cellars owner Mark Lathrop said it’s made it hard for them to plan ahead. The wines they’re making right now will be sold in 2024.

“You try to plan ahead of time as much as possible. We know what we need,” Lathrop said.

He’s waiting for bottles and barrels that are stuck on shipping containers in the ocean. Not only are things coming late, but they cost more, too.

The good news is Lathrop said they’ve found a domestic supplier as an alternative option. However, they’re still paying more and trying to figure out where to store a year’s worth of wine bottles, seven months early.

With all things considered, the struggle isn’t as tough as what they dealt with last year. That was when smoke from the wildfires and COVID-19 kept customers away.

“We’re in the upswing, I just don’t know how it ends. You can build a port but if you don’t have trucks to get it out or the port, it doesn’t matter,” Lathrop said.

There’s one thing that is still a guarantee and that’s the great taste of the wines.

Earlier this week, President Joe Biden announced FedEx and UPS were going to start working 24/7 to get caught up. The longshoremen along the Los Angeles Port made the same commitment.

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