Sacramento Bee – “Lungren to co-chair Congressional Wine Caucus"

Feb 4, 2011
In The News

Washington, D.C., Feb 4, 2011 -

Overseeing House dining facility procedures aren't the only culinary-related responsibilities Rep. Dan Lungren has gained in the new Congress.

The Gold River Republican was recently named co-chair of the Congressional Wine Caucus, a bipartisan group of lawmakers aiming to "educate and engage colleagues in legislative and regulatory matters pertaining to the wine community."

Lungren, whose 3rd Congressional District is home to more than 100 growers and vintners, was offered the post by Rep. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena, who co-founded the caucus with former GOP Rep. George Radanovich, R-Mariposa, in 2000.

In a release announcing the post, Lungren praised the wine industry's economic force in California, noting that the growing of wine grapes accounts for "virtually half" the agriculture economy in Amador County alone.

"Though we have some very large wineries in the Third District the majority are small businesses with unique challenges and needs," he said in a statement. "I visited with Amador County vintners last year and am planning a listening session with wineries and growers in Calaveras County next month and will plan future meetings with other groups in the District."

Lungren plans to continue a series of visits with local wineries and growers in the district in his capacity of caucus co-chair. But don't expect to see the congressman tasting the local varietals at those and other caucus events.

"He prefers something white, but since he doesn't drink alcohol it's usually milk," Lungren staffer Robert Ehlert wrote in an e-mail.