U.S. Representative George Radanovich, R-Calif., one of the wine industry's leading advocates in Congress, has closed his winery in California's Mariposa County.
Radanovich Winery was a victim of the tough economic times currently facing many California wineries, the congressman said on Friday. "It has been a painful decision," said Radanovich, 47. "The past six months have been some of the most difficult that I've been through."
Radanovich opened his winery in Mariposa, in the Sierra Foothills region, in 1986, and until recently, it was producing about 4,000 cases annually, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot and Zinfandel. The winery's inventory and equipment will be liquidated, he said.
The congressman was first elected in 1994 and represents the state's 19th Congressional District, near Modesto. Along with Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Calif., of Napa Valley, he is a co-founder and co-chairman of the bipartisan Congressional Wine Caucus, which serves to educate legislators about issues involving the wine industry and wine consumers.
Although he is no longer in the wine business himself, Radanovich said, "I will continue to strongly represent wine issues in Congress."