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Trent Preszler, CEO of Bedell Cellars. (Credit: Courtesy photo)

The profile of the North Fork wine regions continues to rise as a local winery CEO was named vice chair of a national wine industry lobbying group this week.

Trent Preszler, CEO of Bedell Cellars in Cutchogue, was named vice chairman of WineAmerica’s board of directors at a public policy conference in Washington, D.C. this week. He has served on the board since 2008.

The 600-member advocacy group serves the interest of America’s wine regions. Caroline Shaw, Executive Vice President of Jackson Family Wines which owns Kendall-Jackson, was named the organization’s president.

“History has repeatedly shown that grassroots action is the most powerful force in creating change, and WineAmerica has the unique capacity to coordinate it,” Preszler said in a statement. “With wineries now in all 50 states serving as important anchors for many agricultural communities, all 100 Senators along with a substantial majority of Representatives in the House increasingly understand the importance of the wine industry to  American economic growth.”

Long Island Wine Council Executive Director Steve Bate was also recently elected to the inaugural 12-member board of the newly formed State and Regional Association Advisory Council. That organization is an advisory group made up of members from various winegrower groups.