The California wine industry is responding to two bills that are considered wins for the industry. The first is the disaster aid bill. The California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG) praised the lawmakers that voted for the bill and the associations that supported aid from the wildfires experienced in 2018. President John Aguirre issued a statement saying “With the bill’s passage and the expected signature of the president, California growers who experienced wildfire-related losses in 2018, including losses related to smoke exposure, will be able to apply for assistance payments from the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program, which is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency.”
The CAWG also applauded the passage of a bill that allocates $1.5 million to smoke taint research. California, Oregon, and Washington originally asked for $5 million, and CAWG said they would continue to seek that funding. The need for the research came after some wineries declined already contracted yields from growers, claiming excessive smoke from wildfires affected the taste of their grapes and voided the contracts.
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