The Wine Institute has offices in San Francisco and the Netherlands. Their goal is to influence public policy to advocate the responsible consumption of wine.
Founded in 1934, the Wine Institute is opposed to excessive taxation and regulation of America’s wine industry. They support direct shipping and raise awareness of the benefits of moderate wine consumption. The Wine Institute also conducts research on these subjects and releases many of their conclusions through press releases. The following are a few examples of these press releases:
Robert Koch, CEO of the Wine Institute, recently accompanied Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on his trip to Japan to promote California business. Koch noted that California’s wine industry will likely get a boost as the Japanese economy continues to get better. Japan is currently the third largest importer of California wine.
A legal battle may be impending between the Wine Institute and independent vineyard owners. The Wine Institute wants to lower the required amount of grapes in a vintage year from 95% to 85%.
Vineyard owners see the proposed move as a way for large wineries to gain leverage. They argue that more grapes will be used in large, lower quality blends, thus lowering prices. The Wine Institute counters that lowering the required percentage of grapes would improve quality by giving wineries more ability to add balance through blending.
In a joint analysis, the California Association of Winegrape Growers and the Wine Institute are reporting that California’s Wine Industry has grown by approximately 40% between 1998 and 2002. Retail sales during the same period were over $15.2 billion. These statistics allude to the extremely strong economic momentum of the California Wine Industry.