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California wine lobby elects former Fetzer Vineyards boss as new chairman

California wine’s main lobby group, the Wine Institute, has announced the election of former Fetzer Vineyards chief Paul Dolan as its chairman.

Over a 27-year span, Dolan oversaw Fetzer Vineyards’ transition from a small family-owned winery to a global player. Dolan is a fourth-generation winemaker and holds an enology degree from California State University, Fresno.

Dolan also served on the board of the Business for Social Responsibility and former President Clinton’s Council on Sustainability.

The Wine Institute announced in its press release that Dolan will stress environmentally-friendly winemaking as one of the ‘core values of the industry’.

‘The Sustainable Winemaking Program grew out of the strong family values of the industry in that it encourages responsible practices in the environment and communities in which we do business,’ Dolan told the Wine Institute after his election.

The 928-member Wine Institute, accounting for 85% of US wine production, also elected other board members last week: Jay Indelicato of Delicato Vineyards as first vice chairman, Margaret Duckhorn of Duckhorn Vineyards as second vice chairman, Raymond Chadwick of Diageo Chateau & Estate Wines as treasurer and Tom Klein of Rodney Strong Vineyards as secretary.

Robert Koch, US President George Bush’s brother-in-law, remains Wine Institute CEO and president.

Written by Panos Kakaviatos

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