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Grape growers oppose new pesticide rules

The California Association of Winegrape Growers has joined with more than 45 other agricultural groups to oppose new rules on the use of pesticides around schools.

The Department of Pesticide Regulation is gathering input on new requirements for pesticide use near school campuses, specifically looking at how to improve notification to schools and reduce the exposure risk by placing new restrictions on applications.

“When the facts are considered it is evident that clear, significant protections are in place to assure pesticides registered in California are used safely and effectively. DPR has historically deployed the best science to develop regulations governing pesticides in California,” the groups wrote in a July 31 letter. “It is also clear from follow up monitoring and evaluation performed by DPR that regulations are successful in protecting public health and the environment.”

The department in its notice said it was undergoing the rulemaking based on feedback from many stakeholder groups.

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New survey says that wine volume growth is slowing

Wine sales by volume continues to increase, but the rate of growth has decelerated, according to a report from Technomic Inc. released last week.

The Chicago firm found in its “Wine Trends in Adult Beverage” report that growth in total volume increased 1 percent in 2014, which is at a lower rate than in the previous four years.

Projections for 2015 and subsequent years call for a similar pace of industry expansion to last year, the firm said in a statement.

“Primary factors influencing the industry’s performance include slowed per capita consumption growth and the proliferation of brands and styles, as well as competition from spirits and beer for consumer attention and occasions,” said Donna Hood Crecca, senior director at Technomic, in a statement.

Locally, Napa’s William Hill was listed as one of the fastest-growing wine brands by volume last year, with a 36 percent increase.

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Staff changes at Jordan Winery

The sales team at Jordan Winery is undergoing a revamp as National Sales Director Chris Avery is leaving the Healdsburg winery for a new undisclosed opportunity in the Napa Valley.

As part of the changes, the sales division will be broken into three territories. Emmanuel Padilla will be appointed as the new national sales director, overseeing the U.S. sales team and its export business. Padilla had been serving as Southeast regional sales director. Padilla will continue to manage distributors and accounts in the District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina.

Ashley Cesario will serve as sales director for the Eastern states, picking up the additional states of West Virginia, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Florida; she previously served as the Northeast regional sales director.

Brad Butcher will move from Midwest regional sales director to regional sales director of the Central U.S. states, picking up Louisiana, Kentucky, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Colorado.

Nick Holmes becomes regional sales director for the Western states, picking up Nevada and Arizona to his existing territory.

“We are confident this new structure of three major territories allows our team to efficiently and effectively manage the sales of our singular chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon,” winery CEO John Jordan said in a statement.

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Compiled by Bill Swindell. Submit items to bill.swindell@pressdemocrat.com.