The governor of California has designated a "California Wine Month."

Arnold Schwarzenegger yesterday (2 May) officially announced that September would be this year's California Wine Month after last year's inaugural designation.

"We appreciate the Governor's recognition of the wine industry as a unique and special part of California," said Robert Koch, president and CEO of the Californian Wine Institute.

"From the scenic beauty of our diverse growing regions, with more than 96 distinct American Viticultural Areas, to the fascinating individuals behind every California wine label, to our leadership in sustainable winegrowing, California wine truly gives Californians something to celebrate."

The Wine Institute said that it is partnering with winery members, regional winery and grower associations and retailers and restaurants to create a state-wide calendar of activities and events during the month of September. Beginning in July, the Wine Institute will introduce a special consumer website (www.californiawinemonth.com), featuring event listings and other ideas for celebrating California Wine Month and the start of the 2006 winegrape crush.