Trump budget proposal cuts key wine programs

President Donald Trump’s proposed budget released last week would cut key programs for the local wine industry.

“The administration’s budget proposes massive cuts to some of our key priorities,” WineAmerica, a Washington, D.C., trade group, said in a statement.

For example, the plan calls for a $7 million decrease in funding for the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau from its current level of $106 million. The federal agency handles duties such as regulating wine labels and determining American Viticultural Areas.

It also would eliminate all funding for the Specialty Crop Block Grant and Value Added Producer Grant programs. The $82 million programs provide marketing and research resources to trade associations and universities.

The administration would also scrap the $200 million Market Access Program, which helps specialty crop producers expand into foreign markets.

Fountaingrove growers to hold event next month

The Fountaingrove District Winegrowers Association will hold a farm-to-table dinner featuring the area’s wines on June 10 at 6:30 p.m. at Kick Ranch.

Wines featured at the dinner will include selections from HLR Cellars, Lazzari Wines, Peaceland Vineyards, Petrichor Wines, Viluko Vineyards and Volante Vineyards.

The Fountaingrove District is the newest of Sonoma County’s 17 appellations, officially recognized by the TTB in 2015. It covers 38,000 acres in a section of eastern Sonoma County that borders Napa County.

Tickets can be purchased at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2942042.

New winery opens in St. Helena

The Alejandro Bulgheroni Estate has opened in St. Helena. The winery, located at 500 Meadowood Lane, produces small-lot cabernet sauvignon wines with grapes sourced from its estate and other vineyards within the Napa Valley.

Bulgheroni, an Argentinian billionaire who made his wealth in the oil and gas sector, purchased the property last year. The winery formerly served as the Founders Room for the wine portfolio of H. William Harlan.

The facility features a hospitality salon, where private tastings are available by appointment.

Santiago Cilley, managing director of Bulgheroni’s North American-based wine companies, will oversee the winery. Winemaker Philippe Melka, enologist Michel Rolland and viticulturist Jim Barbour will be in charge of the winemaking and vineyard management operations.

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