A Californian grape growers body is to close after over 40 years.

The North Coast Grape Growers Association confirmed yesterday (2 August) that its members have voted to discontinue operations after 43 years. The association's members are set to join the California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG).

"In a sense we have been victims of our own success," said Paul Bialla, president of NCGGA. "We developed the model for grower associations, helped our region thrive and, in so doing, created the need for more localised organisations. We now are looking forward to a strengthened relationship with CAWG."

Rodney Schatz, chairman of the CAWG, said the association had done an "outstanding job" for growers in the region.

However, he added: "As our industry becomes more and more global in nature, larger organisations such as CAWG are better positioned to represent growers on the state, national or even the international scene. I'm glad that we are able to step in to ensure that those growers formerly represented by NCGGA with still have a voice on a state and national level through the strong leadership of CAWG."

The NCGA was formed in 1963 to give wine grape growers a united voice against the small number of grape buyers who dominated the market at the time. The CAWG, meanwhile, represents the growers of more than 60% of the gross grape tonnage crushed for wine and grape concentrate in California.