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News Release: Boycott Wente

Ph: 608-827-7734, Fx: 608-263-9992, email: zni@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Boycott Announced:  Wente Vineyards Stands Firm

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  San Francisco, CA--November 4--An international
coalition of human rights groups today announced a boycott of Wente
Vineyards of Livermore, CA.  Boycotters criticize Wente's links to its
Burmese partner Steven Law, head of Asia World Company Ltd.  Law has been
denied a visa to the US based on suspected involvement in the drug trade.=

=09While other companies have been boycotted for their support of
Burma's military regime, Wente is the first company to be targeted due to
concerns over Burmese heroin exports.=20

=09Burma supplies most of the world's heroin, including 60% of the
heroin in the US and 80% in Canada.  In March, a State Department
narcotics report said about Burma, "lack of enforcement against money
laundering has created a business environment conducive to the use of
drug-related proceeds in legitimate commerce."=20

=09Wente announced its Burma deal in February, describing Law as a
"major player."  Law is the son of Lo Hsing Han, called by the Washington
Post "one of Southeast Asia's leading heroin traffickers."  Wente VP John
Schwartz is aware that Law is barred from the US, but has offered no

=09"Doing business in Burma is bad enough" says San Francisco City
Supervisor Tom Ammiano, who led a successful effort to ban city contracts
with companies doing business in Burma.  "But Wente's 'business
arrangement' with a suspected heroin trafficker is outrageous," he says,
noting the troubling rise in heroin use by teens.=20

=09The boycott is backed by the US-based Free Burma Coalition, which
has members in 15 countries worldwide, the Canadian Friends of Burma and
Burma Centrum Netherlands.=20

=09Numerous companies, including Heineken, Carlsburg, Interbrew
(owners of Labatts) and Levi Strauss have abandoned Burma due to human
rights concerns.  Many others, including Apple Computer, Amoco, Eddie
Bauer, Liz Claiborne and Macy's have left for "business reasons."=20

=09"We will not sell or serve Wente wines" says James Hanson, of
Wetlands Reserve, a New York City night club, a supporter of the boycott.=
"Heroin is killing people in New York, and no honorable business should
have anything to do with heroin traffickers."=20

=09Wente brand names include Wente Vineyards, Murrieta's Well,
Ficklin Vineyards, Sergio Traverso, Ivan Tamas, Concannon Vineyards, Sokol
Blosser Oregon Winery, and microbrew St. Stan's Beer.
=09Asia World Co. has recently been the target of an investigation by
the Australian television program "Dateline," which aired its findings
October 12.=20

Larry Dohrs, Free Burma Coalition, 206-784-5742
John Schwartz, Wente Vinyards, 510-447-3603=09                             =
=09                                                                       =