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September 27, 2013
WineAmerica Launches "Wine Policy Day" (Press Release)
Grassroots outreach to lawmakers in-district during recess

In an effort to inform federal legislators about wine industry concerns, WineAmerica, the national association of American wineries, is launching “Wine Policy Day” to be held during the congressional break October 12-20.

The effort is the brainchild of Kevin Atticks, Executive Director of the Maryland Wineries Association, and chair of WineAmerica’s State Associations Council. “Harvest is a busy time, but all the activity around the wineries makes it the perfect time to tell our stories” says Atticks.

The pilot program involves regional associations from Arizona, Maryland and Ohio – who will arrange winery tours and events to engage the lawmakers during the period. A special handbook was compiled with input from seasoned members of the State Associations Council to provide winery hosts with event ideas and a list of “do’s and don'ts”.

As Patti King of the Arizona Winegrowers Association explains “we are proud to have issued invitations to our Congressional delegation to participate in three events. Representatives Ron Barber, Paul Gosar and Raul Grijalva represent 57 of Arizona wineries in the three major growing regions of Arizona: Cochise, Santa Cruz and Yavapai counties."

"We have reached out to several of our Congressional representatives, especially in districts where many of our wineries are located. These informal sessions will provide a chance for our wineries to share the incredible story of the growth of the Ohio wine industry and its economic impact here in the Buckeye State, " says Donniella Winchell, Executive Director Ohio Wine Producers Association.

Similar events are being held in the other states. “We hope to grow participation in Wine Policy Day to all 50 states over time” asserts Atticks. “Nationally, our industry has become very economically significant and our voices deserve to be heard.”

For more information contact Mark Chandler at 202.223.5173, or mchandler@wineamerica.org.

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