Pierce's Disease extension
Growers voted to extend the Pierce's Disease Control Program and the industry assessment in a referendum that concluded in mid-June. Family Winemakers co-sponsored AB 1642 (Chesbro) in 2014 to allow winegrape growers the opportunity to continue the control program and research efforts until March 2021. With the extension work will continue on ways to protect grapevines from Pierce's disease. In addition, the PD Program conducts research and public outreach on other designated pests and diseases like the European Grapevine Moth and Red Blotch.
Initial funding of the program started back in 2000 and helps match key USDA funds to control the spread of the Glassy-winged Sharpshooter. FWC co-sponsored the YES campaign for the referendum and supported extension along with a comprehensive list of regional wine associations.
Talking about wine to consumers
Family Winemakers is supporting AB 780 (Williams) in 2015, to address ongoing concerns by beverage producers about letting consumers know where their wine is sold. Current law does not allow for affirmative communciations, which are a key aspect of talking to consumers through social media channels, just a direct response to an inquiry. The bill would allow licensees to affirmatively communicate about their products. The bill has advanced to the Senate Appropriations Committee. Another bill, AB 776 (Cooper), is being amended to address the specific problems of the SaveMart Grape Escape social media enforcement issue. Stay tuned for developments.