Governor Signs Sen. Dodd’s UC Davis Wine Sales Bill

Thursday, October 1, 2020

SACRAMENTO – Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law a proposal from Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, that will allow UC Davis to sell wine made by viticulture and enology students, generating funds for the university during uncertain financial times caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

“This is a commonsense measure that will help us avoid waste and allow us to raise money to support a valuable academic program,” Sen. Dodd said. “It’s a no-brainer to allow these aspiring winemakers to go to market with their product. I thank Gov. Newsom for signing it into law.”

UC Davis’ viticulture program was established in 1935 following the repeal of prohibition. It has since become a center for innovation and a model of sustainability. Historically, the university disposes of wine produced by students due to a quirk in state law. Senate Bill 918, signed yesterday, continues earlier legislative efforts to change that, allowing the issuance of a sales license to a nonprofit entity to sell up to 20,000 gallons of wine a year.

“We are thrilled to have this new legislation completed and signed by the governor,” said David Block, head of the viticulture department. “It has been a long path to get to the point of being able to sell wine from our winery, but the passage of this bill is the most significant hurdle.  Having this legislation will truly make a significant difference in our operations, especially their environmental and fiscal sustainability.  We would like to thank Sen. Dodd and all of his colleagues for making this possible and for the senator’s continued and exceptional support of our viticulture and enology programs.”


Senator Bill Dodd represents California’s 3rd Senate District, which includes all or portions of Solano, Napa, Sonoma, Yolo, Sacramento, and Contra Costa counties. You can learn more about Senator Dodd at