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 supported AB 776 (Cooper) in 2015 because it allows wineries to utilize social media promotion about events in which they are participating even if a retailer is involved as a sponsor. The arose out of the Save Mart Grape Escape social media enforcement issue. FWC sponsored AB 780 (Williams) 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. Both bills were signed into law. Other bills enacted created additional exceptions to the general prohibition on advertising bought from retailer licensees by producers. The growth in exceptions points to the need for a fundamental reexamination of the tied-house prohibition.