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Viticulture Briefs: Bill to fight Pierce's Disease in vineyards signed by Gov. Newsom

New law extends pest protection program

Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed legislation to extend a program combating pests that can destroy vineyards.

The bill, SB 449, would extend the state’s existing Pierce’s Disease Control Program and the Pierce’s Disease and Glassy-Winged Sharpshooter Board from 2021 to 2026.

The disease, transmitted by the glassy-winged sharpshooter, has in past years caused millions of dollars in damage to grapevines across the state.

“Pierce’s Disease is spread by a nasty little bugger and once a vine is infected - the disease will block the water system of the vine, the fruit will shrivel, and ultimately the entire plant will die. There is still no known cure for the disease, which is why it is so important that we do everything we can at the state level to stop the spread of Pierce’s and continue to advance desperately needed research,” said state Sen. Mike McGuire, D-Healdsburg, in a statement.

Lawmakers to hold hearing on industry

Assembly and Senate select committees on the wine industry will hold a joint hearing Oct. 31 in Lodi.

Sens. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, and Mike McGuire, D-Healdsburg, and Assemblywoman Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, D-Winters, will chair their respective select committees that day as part of their role overseeing the state’s $57 billion wine industry.

The hearing will start with an overview of Central Valley grape production. There also will be discussions on emissions caused by wine fermentation and other air quality rules under consideration.

Anaba Wines opens new tasting room

Anaba Wines on Saturday opened its new tasting room, Vintners House, in Sonoma’s Carneros region.

The new tasting room features a long communal table and bar for casual tastings along with smaller seating areas for in-depth wine education. The winery is owned and operated by the Sweazey family

“We’ve long desired to create a place for visitors to completely relax and escape,” John Sweazey, proprietor, said in a statement. “This is an extension of our family home, and we want everyone to feel that same warm, inviting atmosphere. We’re now able to offer a much richer tasting experience, and create lasting memories for our guests.”

The winery had used its 120-year-old farmstead as its original tasting room and administrative offices. The farmhouse will remain part of Anaba’s hospitality center.

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

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