The California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG) requested state support for critical wine and viticulture research during today’s joint hearing of the Senate Select Committee on California’s Wine Industry and the Assembly Select Committee on Wine. The hearing – titled “Cultivating the Next Generation of Wine Industry Leaders and Emerging Markets in California” – covered the state of wine education and research, as well as emerging markets and appellations.
Tony Stephen, chief sales officer for Scheid Family Wines in Monterey County, testified on behalf of CAWG about the value of and need for wine and viticulture research. Stephen is chair of the board of directors for the American Vineyard Foundation and the National Grape Research Alliance.
“We must step up our investment in research if we want to secure the future of California winegrowing and the communities that depend upon our industry,” Stephen stated in his testimony. “For this reason, CAWG is proposing a public investment in a wine industry research endowment to ensure the long-term sustainability and competitiveness of California’s winegrape growers and wineries. Prudent investments in vineyard and wine research will deliver significant benefits to all Californians.”
CAWG Director of Government Relations Michael Miller said, “With threats from climate change, increased wildfires, a declining workforce, global trade tensions and new invasive pests, the need for increased research is tremendous. A public-private research endowment will greatly augment the millions of dollars that are already invested by the industry.”