Biz Buzz: SLO County airport gets $2.2 million for terminal

A $2.2 million federal grant has been awarded to the San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport to pay for the first phase of design for a new terminal building.

Rep. Lois Capps helped to secure the grant from the Federal Aviation Administration. The new terminal is proposed to increase efficiency and help serve more airport passengers.

“The airport is very important to the future of San Luis Obispo County, as it contributes millions of dollars annually to our regional economy,” said Capps, D-Santa Barbara, in a news release.

“The state-of-the-art terminal will improve efficiencies and ease congestion at the airport, and it will be vital to the business growth and quality of life of the region.”

Richard Howell, general manager of the airport, said the timing is right because passenger activity is growing again, and the improvements will help passengers for years into the future.

The new terminal, identified as a need three years ago, has been on hold because of lack of funding.

— AnnMarie Cornejo

Brock chosen as winemaker of year

San Luis Obispo County’s wine industry has chosen Clay Brock as winemaker of the year.

Brock is the director of winemaking at Wild Horse Winery & Vineyards.

Named as wine grape grower of the year is the Dusi family of Dante Dusi Vineyards, and the wine industry person of the year is Kris O’Connor, executive director of the Central Coast Vineyard Team.

The award recipients were honored Friday at the San Luis Obispo County Wine Industry Awards during the California Mid-State Fair.

The nominees were selected by the SLO Vintners Group, the Central Coast Vineyard Team, the Independent Grape Growers of Paso Robles Area, the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance and past winners of the awards.

San Luis Obispo County Wine Industry Awards have been given since 1998.

— Melanie Cleveland

Cal Poly wines win gold medals

Two wines made by student winemakers in Cal Poly’s wine and viticulture program recently received gold medals in a double-blind judging at the Orange County Commercial Wine Competition.

The winning wines were the 2008 Mustang Red, a blend, and the 2008 Cal Poly “Poly Royal” red dessert wine. Both were made from grapes grown in San Luis Obispo County.

Since it launched in 2008, the Cal Poly wine program has grown to produce more than seven wines.

The winning wines will be featured at the Orange County Fair, which runs through Aug. 15.

— Julia Hickey