Spring 2017: National Grape & Wine Policy Conference – Washington, DC

Raising Awareness of America’s Wine Industry in a New Administration

WineAmerica and Winegrape Growers of America are reuniting for the 2017 the National Grape & Wine Policy Conference, April 25 – 27.

The conference features learning, advocacy and networking. Taking place at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, minutes sideaway from Capitol Hill, this meeting is the industry’s opportunity to make its voice heard.

The conference will feature speakers and presentations on the politics and policies affecting our industry. It includes meetings of the WineAmerica Board of Directors and the State and Regional Association Advisory Council and a “Wines of America” reception on Capitol Hill for members of Congress and their staff. The tasting features wines from over 20 states, demonstrating the importance of the American wine industry. The 2016 Grape & Wine Policy Conference is your opportunity to make a difference regarding the laws that affect you.

Speakers and agenda to be announced.

All WineAmerica members are encouraged to attend.

Register Today!

Grand Hyatt Washington
1000 H St. NW
Washington, District of Columbia 20001
United States


Tara Good and Michael Kaiser Named Vice Presidents of WineAmerica


MEDIA CONTACT: Michael Kaiser, mkaiser@wineamerica.org

Washington, DC, December 12, 2016—Long-time WineAmerica staff members Tara Good and Michael Kaiser have been elevated to the role of Vice President effective December 1.

Since joining WineAmerica in 2012, Tara Good has held the positions of Manager of Member Services and Director of Operations. Her new position as Vice President reflects her expanding responsibilities representing WineAmerica on Capitol Hill and across the country.

“Tara has been a leader in the organization,” says Trent Preszler, CEO of Bedell Cellars and Board Chairman of WineAmerica. “She has emerged as the industry expert on the important issue of music licensing. Her unique background demonstrates an ability to respond and adapt to the changing political climate in Washington D.C. and the needs of the American wine industry.”

Good entered government affairs as an assistant at the Distilled Spirits Council in Washington, D.C. A two-time recipient of the U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship, she studied Arabic in Jordan and Oman. She previously managed Middle Eastern and North African cultural programming for the Levantine Cultural Center in Los Angeles. A native of Sonoma County, California, Good received her B.A. from Fordham University in International/Inter-cultural Studies and Theater. Following graduation, she worked several years in New York City theater, including as an assistant on the Broadway show Golda’s Balcony. She received her M.A. from New York University in Performance Studies where she studied the intersection of religion and government.

Michael Kaiser joined WineAmerica in July of 2006 and has held a variety of positions with the organization over the years. Michael was first hired as the Manager of Regulatory Affairs, to assist WineAmerica with issues related to the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. Since then he has held the positions of Director of Communications and most recently Director of Public Affairs. He also represents WineAmerica on the board of Free the Grapes and the National Grape and Wine Initiative.

“Michael has been an essential member of the WineAmerica team for over ten years,” says Chairman Preszler. “He has a wealth of knowledge in the regulatory and legislative realms, and will continue to be an indispensable resource to the American wine industry.”

Prior to joining WineAmerica, Kaiser provided research and logistical support to two Washington, D.C. based lobbying firms. He also handled compliance issues with a major political party. Michael earned his B.A. in American Studies and Political Science from Rider University in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, and a M.A. in Political Science from American University in Washington, D.C.


WineAmerica is the national voice the American wine industry. Based in Washington, D.C., WineAmerica represents wineries in 43 states and leads a coalition of state and regional wine and grape associations. As an industry leader, WineAmerica encourages the dynamic growth and development of American wineries and winegrowing through the advancement and advocacy of sound public policy.


WineAmerica Appoints Jim Trezise as President in 2017

Washington, DC, December 5, 2016—The Board of Directors of WineAmerica has announced that wine industry veteran Jim Trezise will become the organization’s President starting in January 2017.

WineAmerica is the national organization of American wineries, representing wine producer members from 43 states with grassroots public policy advocacy in Washington, DC.  WineAmerica held its 2016 Fall Meeting in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, and was honored to be joined by Congressional Representative Suzanne Bonamici and Senator Ron Wyden, who is spearheading legislation to reduce wine excise taxes.

“We’re delighted that Jim has agreed to assume a more formal role with WineAmerica,” said the organization’s Chairman of the Board Trent Preszler, PhD, who is CEO of Bedell Cellars on Long Island.  “Jim is well-known and highly respected throughout the American wine industry, as well as among influential public officials, and his commitment to our industry is unparalleled.”

Trezise is transitioning from his 31-year position as President of the New York Wine & Grape Foundation (NYWGF) to an increased role with WineAmerica, while remaining President of the International Riesling Foundation, judging in major wine competitions, and continuing his involvement with other wine industry organizations and activities.

He will orient his NYWGF successor, Mr. Sam Filler, in the first quarter of 2017 while undertaking increased involvement with WineAmerica during that time.  Jim has served on the WineAmerica  Board of Directors and Executive Committee  for over 20 years, and has devoted substantial additional  pro bono time to the organization in recent years.  He also serves on the Boards of several other major industry organizations such as FIVS, the National Grape & Wine Initiative, and Wine Market Council.

Over the years he has received several national awards for his contributions to the American wine industry, including the ‘Grand Award” of the Society of Wine Educators; the “Wine Integrity Award” from the Lodi Winegrape Commission; the “Distinguished Service Award” from the Society of Enology and Viticulture; and the “Perpetual Monteith Trophy” (Thomas Jefferson Cup) from the Vinifera Winegrowers Association.  He was also named one of “The 20 Most Admired People in the American Wine Industry” by Vineyard & Winery Management magazine; and one of the “Top 50 Movers and Shakers” by Wines & Vines magazine.

“This is a major step forward for WineAmerica,” said Caroline Shaw, WineAmerica’s immediate past Chair, and Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Jackson Family Wines, who first suggested this idea.  “Jim’s long experience with WineAmerica, success in public policy advocacy, familiarity with key public officials, and involvement with many other industry organizations will strengthen our impact.”

Jim will work closely with WineAmerica’s current staff, Director of Public Affairs Michael Kaiser, and Director of Operations Tara Good, along with government affairs counsel Meyers & Associates.  His involvement will be selectively targeted at opportunities which offer the most promise to advance the interests of the American wine industry.  He will travel to Washington, DC and other locations as needed, but will be operating from the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York on a day-to-day basis.

“WineAmerica is truly a vital organization for advancing the interests of the American wine industry,” said Trezise. “While I have been involved for a very long time, I’m pleased that I will have more time to devote to its important activities in the future.”

WineAmerica’s Fall meeting was organized and hosted by Janie Brooks Heuck, owner of Brooks Wines, and included a special listening session with leaders of the Oregon wine industry, as well as updates on all public policy matters and the Presidential election outlook.  WineAmerica’s next meeting will be in Washington, DC in May  with a focus on educating the new Administration and legislators about the American wine industry’s priorities.


Media Contacts:  Trent Preszler, trent@bedellcellars.com; Jim Trezise  jimtrezise@nywgf.org

Family Winemakers of California and WineAmerica Announce Revised Joint Membership

Two organizations involved with public policy affecting the grape and wine industry—Family Winemakers of California, and WineAmerica—announced a revised joint membership program at the 2016 WIN Expo on December 1 in Santa Rosa, CA.

Family Winemakers focuses primarily on State-level issues, while WineAmerica’s focus is on federal policy in Washington, DC. A joint membership allows wineries to support, get information from, and be represented by these organization on both levels. The two organizations have had a joint membership program for several years, but the new revisions are intended to make it more affordable and attractive.

The new initiative was announced by Pete Downs, Acting President of Family Winemakers, and Jim Trezise, a long-time member of the WineAmerica Executive Committee, as part of a special presentation they gave on major policy developments in both Sacramento and Washington. Downs had also served on the Executive Committee and Board of WineAmerica for over a decade, so knows both organizations well.

“This is a logical fit,” he said. “We need eyes and ears, and feet on the ground, in both Capitols, and the joint membership is a great way to accomplish this.  Another benefit of WineAmerica is that it represents wineries in more than 40 states so has broad national reach legislatively.”

To become a member of Family Winemakers, wineries pay 6 cents per case, with a minimum of $300. To add the WineAmerica benefit, it’s an additional 2 cents per case, with a minimum of $100. Both memberships are through Family Winemakers, which then sends WineAmerica its share.

“WineAmerica’s broad-based membership around the country is a unique advantage that no other wine trade association has,” said Trezise. “Wine Institute, which is a great partner with national reach, nevertheless represents only California wineries, so we can add dozens of other states to create a much stronger coalition.  More than 80 of 100 U.S. Senators have WineAmerica member wineries in their states, and we like to remind the legislature of that.”

WineAmerica also has a State and Regional Associations Advisory Council (SRAAC) involving heads of trade associations throughout the country who regularly compare notes on what is happening in their states, and how they can help one another.  In addition, WineAmerica has retained professional government affairs counsel Meyers & Associates to protect and advance the industry’s interests.


WineAmerica is the national voice the American wine industry. Based in Washington, D.C., WineAmerica represents wineries in 43 states and leads a coalition of state and regional wine and grape associations. As an industry leader, WineAmerica encourages the dynamic growth and development of American wineries and winegrowing through the advancement and advocacy of sound public policy.


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