<b>Treasury signs production, packaging agreement with Accolade</b>

Treasury Wine Estates, the Australian company that owns wine brands including Beringer, Chateau St. Jean and Cellar No. 8, has signed agreements to provide production and packaging services for Accolade Wines in the United States.

Accolade, also based in Australia, owns Geyser Peak and other brands.

Treasury will perform contract packaging at its Napa bottling facility and permit Accolade to make wine at TWE's Asti winery.

"These contracts will help TWE 'win in the Americas' which is a key strategic focus for us in (fiscal year) '14," said Stuart McNab, chief supply officer for Treasury, in a news release.

The multi-year packaging contract will begin this month and the production arrangements at Asti will start during the 2014 vintage.

<b>Wine industry seeks exemption from proposed food safety law</b>

The California Association of Winegrape Growers and the Wine Institute weighed in on the Food Safety Modernization Act, a set of proposed federal regulations that aims to ensure the food supply is safe.

The groups want to have wine grapes exempted from the proposed rule entitled "Standards for Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption."

The groups jointly submitted a letter stating support for establishing safety standards, but argued that wine grapes should be exempted.

"Winegrapes are not consumed raw and the documentation burden imposed on winegrape growers to maintain an exemption ... is unreasonable," the groups wrote.

<b>Dillard named ag dean at UC Davis</b>

UC Davis has named Helen Dillard dean of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

Dillard is a plant disease expert, associate dean and head of Cooperative Extension at Cornell University.

In her new position, Dillard will be the chief academic and administrative leader for the university's founding college, home to 15 departments focusing on the agricultural, environmental and human sciences. The college has numerous institutes and research centers, including the Agricultural Sustainability Institute, the Foods for Health Institute and the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science.

Dillard will assume the role on Jan. 27.

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