<b>Thompson, Vilsack headline forum on wine exports</b>

Rep. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Forman will participate in a roundtable discussion next weekend on the economic importance of wine exports and agriculture.

The event will be held on Nov. 17 at 1:15 p.m. and will include a tour of the Mondavi winery bottling and shipping facilities. It will be held at Robert Mondavi Winery, 7801 St. Helena Highway, Oakville.

In 2011, wine exports reached a record $1.39 billion with 90 percent of U.S. exported wine coming from California.

<b>Scheid elected CAWG chair</b>

Heidi M. Scheid, senior vice president of Salinas-based Scheid Vineyards Inc., was elected chair of the California Association of Winegrape Growers during the board's Nov. 7 meeting in Sonoma.

Her father, Al Scheid, served as CAWG chair in 1978. Scheid takes over the CAWG leadership post from Bill Pauli, of Pauli Ranch in Mendocino County, who completed a two-year term.

The CAWG board also elected Aaron Lange, of LangeTwins Family Vineyards and Winery in Lodi and Dennis Wittchow, of Lent-Burden Farming in Oakdale, as vice chairs. J.D. Harkey, of Drake Enterprises in Temecula , was elected secretary. Ryan Metzler, of Fruita del Sol in Fresno, was re-elected as treasurer. Nat DiBuduo, president of Allied Grape Growers and Carson Smith, of Carson Smith Farming in Fresno, were re-elected as CAWG at-large directors.

<b>Guarachi Family Wines buys Petaluma area vineyard</b>

Los Angeles-based Guarachi Family Wines announced the purchase of its first estate, Sun Chase Vineyard, within the Sonoma Coast AVA and Petaluma Wine Gap.

"It has taken years to find the right vineyard, and a site that could complement the exceptional fruit we're sourcing from premier growers," founder Alex Guarachi said in a statement. "With the purchase of our own vineyard, we've laid the foundation for our continued growth."

Named for the sun "chasing the fog" in the morning, the 248-acre lot is situated on the southern side of Sonoma Mountain and is currently planted with 24 acres of pinot noir.

Compiled by Cathy Bussewitz. Submit items to cathy.bussewitz@pressdemocrat.com.