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GOVERNOR VETOES ZINFANDEL BILL
Rejects historical importance of Zinfandel in California

Sacramento, California, August 29, 2006----On August 28 Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed Senator Carole Migden’s SB 1253, which would have designated Zinfandel California’s ‘historic wine.’ Both houses of the state Legislature had passed the bill in a bipartisan effort to recognize Zinfandel as a respected part of California’s history.

“Although we are disappointed that the bill was not signed into law by Governor Schwarzenegger, we feel that all the interest surrounding this bill from its inception to the veto has really drawn attention to Zinfandel and wine in general and its impact on our society. Hopefully, this entire discussion will encourage more people to explore the amazing world of wine and agriculture,” explains Justin Boeger of Boeger Winery and the President of the Board of Zinfandel Advocates & Producers.

“I was surprised by the Governor’s veto,” commented Bruce Walker of Starry Night Winery and Vice President of ZAP. “It was simply wrong because this bill was not about choosing one variety over another. It was recognizing Zinfandel in its historical role in laying the foundation for the California wine industry,” he added.

“Zinfandel is already recognized by the tens of thousands of enthusiasts who attend ZAP’s annual Festival at Ft. Mason in San Francisco. Over the last sixteen years, our 300-+ winery members and over 5,000 consumer members have dedicated themselves to advancing an appreciation for California zinfandel. We are very proud of the unprecedented awareness by the California Legislature as well as the public commentary that the submission of this bill generated,” commented Rebecca Robinson, ZAP’s Executive Director.

“This would have been a vote for agriculture, for the rich history and the role that wine has played in this great state,” commented Julie Johnson of Tres Sabores Winery. “It is extremely short-sighted that the Governor has chosen to ignore both the Legislature and the ‘grass-roots’ constituency with this veto,” she added.

“This has been a ‘zin-fully’ fun bill because it honors Zinfandel’s important contribution to our state’s history, brings recognition to one of our most important industries and uncorks the esprit-de-corps of Californians everywhere,” explained Senator Migden. “Here was at least one thing that Democrats and Republicans came together over—wine! What could be more Californian than that?” She explained that her reasons for introducing the bill included Zinfandel's long and prominent role in helping establish California's wine trade, the grape's knack for adapting to virtually every viticultural region in the state, and that the fruit yields a "darn good bottle" for about $20. Some people who think more highly of other wine grape varietals object to the bill, she acknowledged, but the point of her effort isn't just to recognize Zinfandel's place in state history, but to draw attention to California's entire wine trade "in a fun and lively way."

“Californians have been marking celebrations and deriving pleasure from Zinfandel since the earliest days of statehood, adds Donn Reisen (of Ridge Vineyards, Santa Cruz Mountains and Ridge Vineyards Sonoma). “How fitting that Zinfandel’s role in California’s cultural and economic past is being recognized by the state legislature as California’s historic wine,” he added.

In August, The Wine Institute issued a statement of support:
Wine Institute supports SB1253, Senator Carol Migden’s bill establishing Zinfandel as the “historic wine of California.” By highlighting Zinfandel’s unique history, the bill also recognizes the history and culture of the California wine community and its acceptance as one of the state’s signature industries.

Other ZAP news: VIVA Zinfandel! The 16th Annual Zinfandel Advocates & Producers Festival will take place January 24-27, 2007 at Fort Mason Center in San Francisco, California. Tickets and more details are available from www.zinfandel.org or by calling 530/274-4900.
The specific events making up the Festival:
January 24: Flights: A Showcase of California Zinfandels, a day of panel
discussions and tastings led by Zinfandel winemakers and experts.
January 25: Good Eats & Zinfandel at Herbst Pavilion at Fort Mason Center in San Francisco, a lively walk-around food and wine tasting which pairs Zinfandel wineries with restaurants.
January 26: Evening with the Winemakers Benefit Auction and Dinner at the Festival Pavilion at The Fairmont Hotel.
January 27: The 16th Annual Zinfandel Advocates & Producers Tasting at the Festival and Herbst Pavilions at Fort Mason Center in San Francisco. A limited number of tickets will be available for purchase at the door. There will be a separate trade tasting in the morning. The 16th Annual Tasting will welcome approximately 300 Zinfandel wineries and Zinfandel enthusiasts to Ft. Mason. Wines to be tasted will be primarily the 2004 vintage as well as 2005 barrel samples. The Tasting is the only place where Zin aficionados can purchase the Heritage Vineyard Zinfandel; in 2007 the 2004 vintage will be available (made by Kent Rosenblum of Rosenblum Cellars).

Visit www.zinfandel.org to join ZAP, research Zinfandel and more! The Association of Zinfandel Advocates & Producers (ZAP) is a non-profit, educational 501(c)(3) organization. ZAP is dedicated to advancing public knowledge of and appreciation for American Zinfandel and its unique place in our culture and history. Winegrowers, winemakers and wine enthusiasts combine to form the membership. The common focus is the preservation and recognition of Zinfandel as America’s heritage wine. ZAP’s membership includes approximately 300 winery-members, more than 5,000 advocate-members and 50 associate members.

###

The Governor’s statement about vetoing the bill:
http://gov.ca.gov/index.php/press-release/3698/
[scroll down to the last bill listed, 1253, and click on the ‘veto message’]
For Senator Migden: contact Carlos Machado, 916/651-4003,
Carlos.Machado@sen.ca.gov
Wine Institute statement in support: contact
communications@wineinstitute.org

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