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Mar 9, 2018 1:00 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Zeldin Co-sponsors Resolution Celebrating American Viticulture Areas

U.S. Representative Lee Zeldin with Chairman of the Long Island Wine Council and NY-1 constituent Steve Bate.   COURTESY OFFICE OF LEE ZELDIN
Mar 11, 2018 4:06 PM

U.S. Representative Lee Zeldin, whose district includes Long Island Wine Country, has joined U.S. Representative Earl Blumenauer of Ohio in co-sponsoring a resolution to recognize the contributions of American Viticultural Areas and winegrowing regions.

The congressmen were among the speakers Wednesday, March 7, at a Wine Origins Alliance event on Capitol Hill. They introduced the resolution the same day and it was referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.

The Wine Origins Alliance, formerly known as the Joint Declaration to Protect Wine Place & Origin, works to ensure wine region names are protected and never miscommunicated to consumers worldwide.

The bipartisan resolution states that the House of Representatives “recognizes the value created in domestic and foreign markets by promoting wines from distinctive American wine-growing regions, including those protected by American Viticultural Area designations or other appellations of origin; and supports efforts to promote awareness of and appreciation for distinctive American wine-growing regions in the United States and abroad.”

Long Island Wine Council board member Alex Rosanelli, who also attended the event, said, “Consumers and winemakers agree that when our region names are misused, it weakens our reputation and diminishes the credibility of our entire industry as a whole.”

In a joint statement, Mr. Zeldin, a Republican, and Mr. Blumenauer, a Democrat, said, “This year marks the 40th anniversary of the creation of American Viticulture Area designation, which allows vintners to more accurately describe the origin of their wines and helps them build and enhance the reputation and value of the wines they produce. With more than 10,000 wineries operating in all 50 states, American wines contribute to the economic and cultural life of our nation. Our wineries generate hundreds of billions of dollars for the U.S. economy in any given year and employ nearly 1 million Americans. We look forward to continuing to work with our colleagues to promote awareness of, and appreciation for, distinctive American wineries and vineyards for years to come.”

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