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Wine Symposium 2017 Panel Discussion: FSMA

January 17th, 2017 by Dean Ricker

Filed under: Skolnik Newsletter, Wine

After months of campaign speeches, debates and rallies, many Americans are ready to stop thinking about any and all news coming out of Washington, D.C. But for Lise Asimont, director of grower relations for Francis Ford Coppola Presents, a panel discussion about the Food Safety Modernization Act signed into law by U.S. president Barack Obama in 2011 is going to be a highlight of the Unified Wine & Grape Symposium taking place Jan. 24-26 in Sacramento. As program chair for the Unified Development Committee, Asimont will moderate the hour-long panel discussion Jan. 26. “We have very few mid-size wineries and smaller wineries that are going to be prepared” when the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is implemented for the wine industry, Asimont said. “FSMA is going to rock the world of compliance. We have seen food companies already changing their protocols, but we have not seen a lot of wineries do it.” Asimont told Wines & Vines that coming up with educational sessions that industry members can learn from and immediately apply to their vineyard and winery jobs is a key factor when choosing topics for the annual Unified Symposium, and FSMA is just one of the topics to fit that criterion. Clean plant strategies Another topic Asimont believes will be readily applicable for Unified attendees is the Jan. 25 session titled, “Looking Forward: How Grapevine Clean Plant Strategies Can Be Improved.” Asimont is moderating this session as well, and speakers include a who’s who of academics, viticulturists and vineyard owners. Deborah Golino, director of Foundation Plant Services at the University of California, Davis, is among the panelists, along with Marc Fuchs of Cornell University and Mike Means of Chateau Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, among others. “This is basically where the rubber meets the road on being pertinent with regard to needing clean plants,” said Asimont, adding that the discovery of red blotch-associated virus has triggered a huge replanting in California. “We want to give attendees the tools they need to confidently go into a nursery and say, ‘I want to test your stock.’” Asimont says there is a lot of coffee shop talk among viticulturists about who has clean materials and who doesn’t. The speakers booked for the Unified panel will discuss viruses they are concerned about and what testing is available. Golino will offer a preview of what FPS is working on, and the wine grape growing panelists will offer real-life examples of how they have successfully (or unsuccessfully) acquired clean vines. With the cost of replanting a vineyard starting around $35,000 per acre, not using clean materials is a huge threat to any investor. Skolnik Industries will be exhibiting at the show displaying our complete line of stainless steel wine barrels. You can find us at booth number 1205. For complimentary passes to the symposium contact Jason Snow at jason@skolnik.com.

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