MOTHER's Newsworthies: Walter S. Taylor, Paul Winter and Glenmore Distilleries Company

Learn how Walter S. Taylor is fighting for honesty and integrity of labeling, name and heritage; Glenmore Distilleries led a campaign to save the Yellowstone river; and Paul Winter uses natural music to help people find music within themselves.

| January/February 1980

Brief: Walter S. Taylor

Day after day the paper flood flows into MOTHER'S mailbox: letters ... copies of court papers ... newspaper clippings ... wine labels bearing pictures of masked men ... plaintive letters claiming the correspondent is "still fighting for honesty and integrity of labeling, name and heritage." As confused comic book characters used to ask Mr. Natural ... “What's it all mean?"

Well, what it means, in this case, is that Walter S. Tay ... — oops, almost slipped — Walter S. _______ is conducting his media blitz against Coca-Cola and the Taylor Wine Company.

You see, Walter used to work for Taylor — the company was then owned by his family, which gave it its name — until 1970 ... when he was fired for saying (in public!) that wine labels should actually list the contents of the bottle! Several years later, the Taylor Wine Company was sold to Coca Cola, lock, stock, and good will. Walter, in the meantime, had established a small winery at Bully Hill in the Finger Lakes district of New York ... the location of the original Taylor winery.

That's when his problems started. It seems Coca Cola figures that the "good will" they paid money for included the Taylor name. Walter, on the other hand, claimed that it was a name he had become attached to over the years, and he should have the right to use it on his wine bottles. Coke — notorious for its zeal in defending its trademarks — sued Walter over the use of the name Taylor, and (you guessed it) Walter lost.

Despite the legal hassles, Walter continued to turn out a quality wine, containing only four of the 71 chemicals the government allows in the beverage (and Walter, names them all on the back label!). But, because he was banned by a court order from using his name or pictures of his wine-making ancestors on his product, Walter took to obscuring the family moniker on the bottles, and adorning the containers with pictures of imaginary ancestors ... like Mr. Cyclops, shown here. Coca Cola didn't like that, either, so the firm took Walter to court again ... and won again. (The windmills always beat Don Quixote, too.) Well, each time Walter loses in court, another torrent of paper comes screaming off the presses, and MOTHER has another jam-packed mailbox.

Brief: Yellowstone Mellow Mash Bourbon

Last year the firm that makes "Mellow Mash" waged a successful campaign to save the Yellowstone, one of this country's last free-flowing rivers, from industrial depletion. This year, it's attempting to search out — and publicize — craftspeople whose lifestyles and work represent the ideals of tradition, self-sufficiency, and adventure.

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