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  Daily News for Wednesday, February 5th
Congress Approves Farm Bill allocates nearly $100 billion in federal spending - Funding increases 55% for specialty crop programs including wine grapes - Wines & Vines
Key programs of note to the wine industry that received funding include the Specialty Crop Research Initiative, which will get $80 million per year through fiscal year 2018. This represents an increase in investment of 55% over the 2008 Farm Bill in critical specialty crop initiatives and programs, including those for wine grapes, according to WineAmerica
Feds announce $20M for California drought relief
U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told reporters in a teleconference from Washington, D.C., that this will be the first in a number of announcements to be made regarding drought relief, including one expected Thursday aimed at forestry assistance.
North Coast grape growers packed a Cloverdale meeting hall Tuesday to discuss ways of saving their crops amid the worst drought conditions any of them can recall
The North Coast would need an additional foot of rain between now and May just to get back to drought conditions in 1977
US fund Wellington buys up Treasury Wine shares as other bail out
Large US fund manager Wellington Management has ploughed an extra $25 million into buying shares in the ailing wine group Treasury Wine Estates
Yakima Valley concord juice grape growers got welcome news Monday with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's announcement that it would buy $11.5 million worth of Concord grape juice to stabilize prices
While Washington Concord grape farmers had an average year, the inventory of Concord juice swelled with large harvests in Michigan, New York and Pennsylvania
Farm Bill Advances to President for Signature - Wine Institutute
The U.S. Senate and House passed a new Farm Bill, H.R. 2642, the Agricultural Act of 2014 today. The bill, which sets farm policy and spending levels for the next five years, contains a number of programs of importance to the California wine industry. Wine Institute was active in working with legislators, the California Congressional delegation and the Specialty Crop Alliance to ensure its passage. The House passed the bill with a vote of 251-166, with the support of 162 Republicans and 89 Democrats. The Senate approved passage by a vote of 68-32. The bill has been sent to the President's desk for signature
WineAmerica Celebrates Passage of 2014 Farm Bill
"This legislation represents the most significant government investment ever into the competitiveness of specialty crop producers and wine industry members. We salute Congress for this action and anticipate the President's signature on the bill in the coming days"
Bill would cut taxes for Hawaii breweries, wineries
Under the bill, beer makers would pay 23 cents per gallon on draft beers and beer other than draft beers that are brewed or produced by a small brewery or brew pub. Right now, they pay 93 cents. Winemakers would pay a tax rate of 59 cents per wine gallon on still wine and sparkling wine made by a small winery. Right now, they pay $1.38 per gallon on still wine and $2.12 on sparkling wine.
Wines of Wind Country: The cool-climate grape growers and wineries of the Petaluma Gap aim to be further defined
"The Petaluma Gap is coming into a new maturity," said Ana Keller of Keller Estate, among the few wineries based in the region. "The biggest difference (from other parts of the Sonoma Coast) is that we're a bunch of growers mostly, but we are also clearly different in terms of weather and soils."
Owner of Leland's Verterra Winery Talks Northern Michigan Chardonnay
Chardonnay is the number one wine across the country, and we thought that if we were going to create a high quality winery we needed to produce excellent chardonnay
House sends Indiana winery bill to Senate
Indiana wineries could sell their products directly to retailers instead of through a third party source if a bill approved by the House becomes law.
9 Things We Just Learned About The Liquor Industry
DISCUS, a trade organization that represents American distillers, outlined the booze industry for reporters and Wall Street analysts at an event this morning
Open Access Article from Practical Winery & Vineyard: Surface-renewal measurements of actual evapotranspiration
A new technology from the University of California, Davis, provides viticulturists with a tool to quantify the amount of water that evaporates from a broad area of a vineyard. Surface-renewal technology has recently been improved to perform well in vineyards
Breaking: Farm bill passes after three years of talks
Congress gave final approval Tuesday to a sweeping overhaul of a broad range of federal farm and nutrition policies affecting what farmers grow, how food is packaged and sold and how the government helps poor people pay for their groceries
Wine Tour Operators Expect 21% Increase Worldwide in 2014 - Survey by Zephyr Adventures
In a survey of wine tour operators located throughout the world, responses indicated they expect a 21.4% increase in customers served in 2014. 70 tour operators from 12 separate countries took part in the survey conducted December 30 - January 3 by Zephyr Adventures, organizers of the annual Wine Tourism Conference and Wine Tourism Day
Stags Leap District Celebrates 25 Years as the Birthplace of Iconic American Cabernet Sauvignon
2014 marks the 25th anniversary for one of Napa Valley's significant and most collectible sub-AVAs
Dave McIntyre liked Jon Bonné's book: 'New California Wine' is a must-read
"Bonné's response to that criticism is unprintable here. He is content to be at the tip of a movement, like an art critic challenging his readers to question their perspectives and prejudices when viewing a painting"
Matt Kramer - The Loss of Loyalty: Are we seeing an erosion of emotion and loyalty among modern wine lovers?
"What wine producers once took for granted, they no longer can. Loyalty and fidelity are largely gone."
U.S. Bourbon and Tennessee Whiskey Drive Export Records in 2013 (Press Release)
"Key factors cited as contributing to the U.S. market growth included industry product innovations; consumer fascination with premiumization, heritage and cocktail culture; expanded access through state market modernizations; and effective hospitality tax restraint by legislatures"
Silvio Denz Purchases Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey in Sauternes
St.-Emilion-based château owner looks to increase dry white production.
Oregon 'Hybrid' liquor store bill criticized: At an initial public hearing Tuesday, parties on all sides of the issue slammed a bill that seeks to alter but not end the state's monopoly on liquor sales in Oregon.
Senate Bill 1559, introduced in reaction to a drive by big grocery chains to fully privatize liquor sales with a November ballot measure, would allow grocery stores of 10,000 square feet or more to sell liquor from their shelves, while keeping the state in control of the supply.
Water issues dominate 2014 grape outlook
The day before California experienced a couple of teasing rain showers, the thing on everyone's minds at this year's Unified Wine and Grape Symposium in Sacramento was the continuing drought and the potential impact it may have on California farmers and ranchers
New method from AB SCIEX identifies milk and egg allergens in wine - Press Release
Egg whites and milk products are commonly used in the wine-making process, increasing the likelihood of the presence of egg & milk proteins in the wine that people consume
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