Pierce's Disease extension
Family Winemakers' co-sponsored bill, AB 1642, to allow winegrape growers to vote in a referendum in the Spring of 2015 on whether to extend the Pierce's Disease Control Program, was signed by Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. on August 21. The bill, which is essential to continuing the control program and research efforts past March 2016, received bi-partisan support in both the Assembly and Senate.
Authored by former Assemblymember Wes Chesbro, who started the initial funding of the program back in 2000, the bill is targeting an April vote by growers. FWC, CAWG and Wine Institute are coordinating the YES campaign for the referendum.
Farmer's market tastings
Family Winemakers' co-sponsored bill, AB 2488, to allow limited tastings at certified farmer's markets was signed into law on July 10. Assemblymember Marc Levine's bill will provide wineries operating at farmer's markets with the standard tasting tools needed to sell wine. Currently, only 81 of 3,700+ wineries in the state sell at farmer's markets. Most, if not all, are small, family-owned wineries.
As an urgency measure the bill was effective immediately and several wineries and CFMs across the state quickly took advantage. The bill allows one winery per market to taste wine. Samples for adults are limited to no more than 3 ounces. Wineries are allowed to charge for sample if they choose.