September Is California Wine Celebration

Secretary A. G. Kawamura Presents Governor’s Proclamation to Vintners & Growers

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Aug. 25 /PRNewswire/ — As California’s wineries and growers begin their annual harvest, A.G. Kawamura, Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, offered a fitting send off with release of a new proclamation by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger declaring September 2005 as the official “California Wine Celebration.” The proclamation was presented to Wine Institute President Robert P. “Bobby” Koch and Chairman Eric Wente, members of the Board, prominent retailers and government officials at a ceremony today in the Wine Garden of the California State Fair in Sacramento.

“With this proclamation, the Governor proudly acknowledges the many contributions that California’s winemakers and winegrape growers make to our state,” said Secretary Kawamura. “California wine is not only an important economic contributor, a signature export and a major draw for tourists to our state, but the wine industry is also leading the way for agriculture in its commitment to environmental stewardship and maintaining a high quality of life in rural areas of the state,” he added.

Eric Wente, whose winery, Wente Vineyards, has been growing grapes and making wine in Livermore Valley since the late 1800′s, presented the Secretary with a commemorative nine-liter bottle of Wente Vineyards Charles Wetmore Reserve 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon and thanked him and the Governor on behalf of the Wine Institute’s Board and members.

“This wine was made by my son Karl, the fifth generation of the Wente family to play an active role in our winery,” he noted. “With your support, we all look forward to many more successful harvests and future generations making their contributions to California wine.”

“California wine represents what is best and exciting about our state. It is a major economic engine that is the result of our diverse climate and cultures which blend artistry and science. Our wineries attract nearly 15 million tourists annually, and critical acclaim for California wine has also helped bring international recognition to the state,” said Koch. “California wine truly gives Californians a reason to celebrate.”

Numerous wineries will be hosting special events and activities to mark the annual harvest and to celebrate this special recognition in September and into October. Retailers in California, including Safeway, plan to put the focus on California wine during this period. For additional information on events and activities during California Wine Celebration, please visit: www.wineinstitute.org.

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