The Wine Institute has elected a new board chairman.

The Californian wine trade body confirmed yesterday (13 June) that Jasper Indelicato, COO of Delicato Family Vineyards, will hold the position for the 2007-2008 fiscal year. Indelicato was elected to the post at the 73rd annual meeting of the Wine Institute in San Francisco yesterday.

At the same time, Margaret Duckhorn of Duckhorn Vineyards was elected first vice chairman, with Raymond Chadwick of Diageo Chateau & Estate Wines becoming second vice chairman. Tom Klein of Rodney Strong Vineyards will be the Institute's treasurer, and David Kent of the Wine Group was elected secretary.

As chairman, Indelicato said he will focus on free and fair trade, tax matters, and reauthorisation of the Farm Bill. Indelicato will also continue the momentum of the California Sustainable Winegrowing Programme, which promotes responsible practices for the environment and communities, and the recent 'California First' programme, which engages members and industry partners in communicating a message about the qualities of the California wine industry.

"These programs reflect the values of our industry and preserve the long-term health of our businesses for future generations," said Indelicato.

The Wine Institute has 1,043 members accounting for 95% of California wine production and 85% of US wine production.