CAWG Elects New Board Members

Taylor Hillman General

The California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG) has announced the election and re-election of members to its board of directors. CAWG is governed by 28 growers in seven districts who serve three-year terms beginning Dec. 1.

The new directors are John Balletto, owner and founder of Balletto Vineyards in Santa Rosa; Joel Maring, general manager of Maring Farms Inc. and owner of J. Maring Farms in Patterson; and Brian Shepard, vice president and co-owner of Walsh Vineyard Management in Napa.

Re-elected directors, who will serve their third and final term, are Michael Boer, Stipp Ranch, Ukiah; Diego Olagaray, Olagaray Brothers, Lodi; and Bruce Phillips, Vine Hill Ranch, Yountville.

“We are pleased to welcome the new board members and look forward to their input and leadership,” said CAWG President John Aguirre. “They will join a group of effective leaders who will continue to provide a powerful voice for CAWG members and the winegrape industry on many challenging issues.”

Aguirre also thanked CAWG’s outgoing board members for their dedication and service to the association and winegrape industry. Board members who have termed out after nine years are John Duarte, Duarte Vineyards, Hughson; Dennis Wittchow, Lent-Burden Farming, Inc., Oakdale; and Bill Pauli, Pauli Ranch, Potter Valley.

CAWG provides industry leadership to advocate for public policies, research and education programs, and sustainable farming practices to enhance the business of growing California winegrapes. The organization represents the growers of more than 50 percent of the gross grape tonnage crushed for wine and concentrate in California.