WineAmerica Board Meeting Brings New Leadership and New Members

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:  Michael Kaiser

Director of Public Affairs

202-223-5172

mkaiser@wineamerica.org

May 26, 2015

Washington, DC – WineAmerica, the National Association of American Wineries, took part in the annual National Wine and Grape Policy Conference this week in Washington, DC.  Held in conjunction with Winegrape Growers of America, the three-day conference attracts wine industry leaders from across the country to meet and weigh in on the most pressing public policy issues affecting growers and wineries.

This year, industry leaders from all over the United States were in attendance, representing wineries, growers and state associations.  Subjects covered included federal excise tax reform, music licensing guidelines and the overall political climate in Washington, DC.  The event culminated with the Wines of America Congressional reception held in the Rayburn Gold Room, where members of Congress, their staff and selected guests sampled wines from 27 states.

New Leadership

Concurrently, the WineAmerica Board of Directors meeting was also held, where the board thanked Caroline Shaw, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Jackson Family Wines, for her two years of service as Chair of the organization.

The new WineAmerica Chairman of the Board is Trent Preszler, CEO of Bedell Cellars on the North Fork of Long Island. Trent has served on the board of WineAmerica since 2008 and the board of the New York Wine & Grape Foundation since 2004, where he is also Chairman. Trent earned an MS in Agricultural Economics and a PhD in Viticulture & Enology, both from Cornell University. He also worked in The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy during the Clinton Administration.

“I am thrilled to take the reins of WineAmerica and continue the robust growth and success we experienced under the leadership of my predecessor, Caroline Shaw,” said Preszler. “The future of WineAmerica is bright, and there are more compelling reasons than ever for American wineries to join our grassroots public policy mission.”

Assuming the position of Vice Chair of the Board is Martin Clubb of L’Ecole No. 41 in the Walla Walla Valley of Washington. Marty is a long time WineAmerica Board member and is currently the President of the Washington Wine Institute. Marty is the Managing Winemaker and co-owner of L’Ecole No. 41 with his wife Megan. Marty was also instrumental in the founding of the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance and served as its president for six years. Marty worked with other industry pioneers in the development of the Walla Walla Community College Center for Enology and Viticulture. He earned a chemical engineering degree from Texas A&M University.

New Members

The WineAmerica Board also appointed Dana Huber from Huber Winery in Starlight, Indiana to the open seat from the Great Lakes region. Dana and her husband Ted run Huber Winery and Starlight Distillery. Founded in 1978, Huber Winery is a pioneer in the Indiana wine industry, and they have since expanded into a diverse farm that grows many fruits and vegetables. In 2000 the Hubers founded Starlight Distillery, the first licensed distillery to open in Indiana. Ms. Huber joins another recently appointed Board member, Janie Brooks Heuck of Brooks Winery in Oregon.

WineAmerica would also like to highlight some of our latest members who have joined from our recent membership drive. St. James Winery, a key leader in the Missouri and Midwest wine industry has rejoined the organization, and will be a key member for us in that region. Other leading wineries to join WineaAmerica this spring are Leelanau Cellars in Michigan, Three Brothers Winery and Estate in New York and Dutton-Goldfied Winery in Sonoma County, California.

The next WineAmerica Board of Directors meeting will at the Allison Hotel and Resort in Dundee, Oregon from November 2-3, 2016.

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WineAmerica is the national voice the American wine industry. Based in Washington, D.C., WineAmerica represents wineries in 43 states and leads a coalition of state and regional wine and grape associations. As an industry leader, WineAmerica encourages the dynamic growth and development of American wineries and winegrowing through the advancement and advocacy of sound public policy.

For more information, visit www.wineamerica.org.

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California Regulation Requires Warning Labels for BPA (June 1 Update)

by Michael Kaiser

5.25.16

The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has issued emergency regulations that would require manufacturers, including wineries, to warn consumers about the chemical called bisephenol A (BPA). OEHHA has listed BPA as a female reproductive toxicant under Proposition 65. Proposition 65 is decades old ballot initiative that protects California citizens and the state drinking water from chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm. BPA is the latest chemical added to the list. BPA may used in synthetic corks and plastic liners in screwcaps and linings. Two alternative closures that wineries have been using for years. Wineries should check with the manufacturer of their closures to determine if a warning is required.

As of May 11, any winery that manufactures, imports or distributes in California a product containing BPA must provide a warning to consumers. The warning needs to state:

WARNING: Many food and beverage cans have linings containing bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical known to the State of California to cause harm to the female reproductive system. Jar lids and bottle caps may also contain BPA. You can be exposed to BPA when you consume foods or beverages packaged in these containers. 

Retailers and tasting rooms are required to post 5” X 5” signs at the point of sale. OEHHA emergency regulations also require that a BPA warning be posted prior to a California consumer purchase of wine via the Internet. The warning should be visible to consumers at the check-out point on winery websites.

For more information go to: www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/BPA.

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Questions? Contact Michael Kaiser, Director of Public Affairs, mkaiser@wineamerica.org.

WineAmerica is the national voice the American wine industry. Based in Washington, D.C., WineAmerica represents wineries in 43 states and leads a coalition of state and regional wine and grape associations.  As an industry leader, WineAmerica encourages the dynamic growth and development of American wineries and winegrowing through the advancement and advocacy of sound public policy.

 

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