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.