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California's Wine Institute to shutter UK office

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California's wine trade body, The Wine Institute, is to close its UK office after "severe cuts" to its government funding.

The Wine Institute operates a number of global representative offices

The Wine Institute operates a number of global representative offices

In a letter to clients today, the institute's UK director John McLaren said the London branch will cease operations at the end of September. McLaren blamed a reduction in funding from the US Department of Agriculture's market access programme.

The Wine Institute represents about 1,000 Californian wineries and wine-related businesses in advocating public policy and safeguarding their rights across the world. The body has a number of overseas offices in countries including China, Mexico, Russia and Germany. It is unclear if other overseas offices are affected by the funding cuts.

McLaren was not immediately available for comment.

Californian wine, which accounts for the majority of US wine output, is performing strongly in both overseas and domestic markets. According to Wine Institute figures released last month, volumes in 2015 increased for the third year in a row, despite a strong US dollar intensifying overseas competition.


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