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Wine Institute Highlights Critical Issues Facing Wine Sector During Annual Washington Meeting


Leadership Award Presented to Sen. Debbie Stabenow

WASHINGTON, D.C. — California vintners were in Washington, D.C. last week for three days of engagement with key legislators and regulators as a part of Wine Institute’s annual trip to the nation’s capital. The delegation met with key government stakeholders on a range of priority issues including the upcoming 2025 U.S. Dietary Guidelines, the Farm Bill and expanding market access for U.S. wine exports in key markets around the world.

Wine Institute members meet with Sen. Alex Padilla (D-CA)

“Wineries are facing many challenges, and it is essential for policymakers to understand what is at stake for one of the U.S.’ most highly value-added agricultural sectors,” said Robert P. Koch, Wine Institute president and CEO. “In response to our advocacy, legislators from across the country voiced strong support for policies that will enhance the long-term health of our vibrant wine communities.”

During the meeting, Wine Institute also recognized the significant service and accomplishments of Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture, Forestry and Nutrition Committee. Koch and Wine Institute Chairman of the Board Randall Lange, co-founder of LangeTwins Family Winery and Vineyards, presented Stabenow with the Wine Institute Leadership Award which recognizes truly exceptional leadership in the Congress on behalf of the U.S. wine sector. Throughout her time in the Senate, Stabenow has been a tireless advocate on behalf of specialty crops and her leadership has been instrumental in establishing many of the key specialty crop programs that support the wine and winegrape sectors.

The delegation met with more than 30 representatives and senators from across the country, including members of leadership as well as senior members of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees, the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committees and the House and Senate Appropriations Committees, all of which have jurisdiction over key wine industry priorities.

California vintners also had the opportunity to showcase the best of their wines during a reception in the Great Hall at the Library of Congress attended by more than 400 Members of Congress, congressional staff and administration officials.

With 6,200 wineries, California is responsible for 81% of the U.S.’ wine production and more than 95% of wine exports. California is the world’s fourth-largest wine producing region. California wineries have a significant impact on the U.S. economy, generating $170 billion in annual economic activity, supporting more than 1.1 million jobs and paying $59.9 billion in wages annually and $21.9 billion in taxes. 

About Wine Institute 

Established in 1934, Wine Institute is the public policy advocacy group of more than 1,000 California wineries and affiliated businesses that initiates and advocates state, federal and international public policy to enhance the environment for the responsible production, consumption and enjoyment of wine. The organization works to protect the economic and environmental health of the state through its leadership in sustainable winegrowing. To learn more about California wines, visit Discover California Wines.