Robert P. (Bobby) Koch
President and CEO
About UsWine Institute is the public policy advocacy association of California wineries. Wine Institute brings together the resources of 1,000 wineries and affiliated businesses to support legislative and regulatory advocacy, international market development, media relations, scientific research, and education programs that benefit the entire California wine industry. The unity of our industry is critical during these times of economic challenge and high public concern for health and social issues. Budgetary pressures at all levels of government present a constant threat of greater excise taxes that must be countered with a professionally managed, industry-wide effort. The home office is in San Francisco, with offices in Sacramento, Washington DC, six regions of the U.S. that oversee the work of forty-five state contract consultants, and seven foreign countries. Eighty California vintners provide guidance for the Institute as members and alternates of the Board of Directors. In addition to opposing franchise monopoly bills and seeking legislation that will allow wineries to ship limited quantities of wine direct to consumers, Wine Institute pursues numerous programs and community alliances and promotes sustainable business practices from the ground to the bottle. The intention is to reframe the entire social debate on wine in America by educating consumers and decision makers about wine's legitimate place in a healthy lifestyle.
Keeping Wine on the National AgendaWine Institute maintains a strong presence in Washington, D.C. by aggressively advocating our members' interests in tax, international trade, legislative and regulatory issues. The continuing success of our federal relations program and Political Action Committee requires active members involvement. The annual "Washington Week" delegation trip provides a unique opportunity for members to discuss key issues with the country's most influential decision-makers and to witness the strong bipartisan support for California wine. Members meet with Congressional leaders in the Capitol and host a reception in the Great Hall of the Library of Congress.
Expediting Label ApprovalsMembers utilize our wine label specialist to assist with Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) applications for wine label and formula approval. We process over 10,000 labels annually and will carefully review your application, submit it to TTB and notify you when the label is approved.
Increasing ExportsWine Institute's promotional campaigns for California wine help develop markets in more than 20 countries. We provide support and guidance to wineries that export by:
- Maintaining trade offices in 13 countries to provide critical market information and promotional assistance;
- Organizing California's participation in international trade shows;
- Hosting media and consumer tasting in over 15 countries each year; and
- Encouraging coverage by top wine, food and lifestyle writers through an international media outreach effort and an active schedule of wine country visits by foreign trade representatives.