WASHINGTON – The Wine Origins Alliance today announced the Finger Lakes Wine Alliance, Livermore Valley Winegrowers Association, Monterey County Vintners & Growers Association, and Seneca Lake Winery Association have joined its global coalition to protect wine place names and eliminate all barriers to trade in wine, including removing all tariffs on wine. The Alliance welcomed its new members at a March 4 reception and signing ceremony.
“As a lifelong resident of California wine country and an organic grower myself, I know firsthand that the location where a grape is grown imparts unique qualities on the wine produced there,” said Congressman Mike Thompson (D-CA-05). “I am pleased to support the mission of the Wine Origins Alliance as it welcomes new members from across the United States.”
With the addition of four new U.S.-based members, the Alliance now includes 29 organizations from 10 countries spanning North America, Europe, Australia and Asia. Together, the members of the Alliance represent more than 105,000 wineries and grape growers that have generated over 900,000 jobs and nearly $10 billion in global wine exports.
“Each of the Finger Lakes vineyards is unique. We enjoy many micro-climates within the Finger Lakes and our winemakers craft wines that cannot be replicated elsewhere – even within our own region,” said Carmela Barbagallo, Executive Director of the Finger Lakes Wine Alliance based in Geneva, New York. “We are excited to join the Alliance and its efforts to make clear that when it comes to wine, location matters.”
“Livermore Valley’s east-west orientation sets it apart from our neighboring wine regions, and that is expressed in the wines we produce,” said Chris Chandler, Executive Director of Livermore Valley Winegrowers Association based in California. “We are proud to come together alongside our colleagues from around the world to support the important mission of the Wine Origins Alliance.”
Since 2005, the Alliance has worked to increase worldwide attention to the protection of wine place names and recently called for the elimination of all tariffs and non-tariff barriers to trade in wine. In 2018, total global wine exports reached approximately $33.7 billion. However, prohibitive barriers to trade in wine have made it hard for wine regions to compete on a level playing field in the global marketplace.
“The nine AVAs within Monterey County’s coastal growing region produce high-quality wines with a unique character and deep historical roots,” said Kim Stemler, Executive Director of the Monterey County Vintners & Growers Association based in California. “Similarly, each region places its own signature on its wines, and it is our pleasure to join the Wine Origins Alliance and its mission to protect the integrity of wine region names worldwide.”
“The Seneca Lake Wine Trail is proud to join this global alliance of likeminded organizations,” said Brittany Gibson, Executive Director of the Seneca Lake Winery Association based in New York. “As an organization, we support and promote our member wineries in the Seneca Lake AVA. These wineries are dedicated to producing wines that are grown and made in the AVA. In fact our tagline is, ‘Grown here. Made here.’ Our belief in prioritizing and protecting the sense of place that is so unique to each wine produced is the backbone of what we do. We look forward to a long and successful partnership with the WOA.”
In 2018, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution, S. Res. 649, acknowledging the contributions that wine regions provide to the U.S. and global economy. A similar resolution, H. Res. 642, is currently pending in the House of Representatives.