Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Alpine, was named the new co-chair of the congressional wine caucus. The news was announced by Rep. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena, co-chair of the congressional wine caucus, a bipartisan, bicameral group of 150 members of Congress who advocate on behalf of America's vintners and winegrape growers.

"Congressman Hunter is an excellent choice for Wine Caucus co-chair," said Bobby Koch, CEO of Wine Institute. "Because his district is home to many wineries and growers in Southern California, he knows firsthand of the important contributions of wine and he will be a terrific advocate."

The U.S. wine industry has an estimated economic impact of $162 billion on the U.S. economy each year and creates an equivalent of 1.1 million full-time jobs, Wine Institute said in a statement.