Since I have not written about Family Winemakers of California in a while, I feel some backstory may be in order.
From the FWC website:
Family Winemakers of California is an “organization that reflects the small producer’s point of view.” With nearly 5,400 licensed wineries in California, someone needs to consistently speak for small, family wineries in the fight for more access to markets, protecting individual freedom from government over-regulation, and fostering aspirations to make the best wine. Our beginnings are humble. Family Winemakers was founded in 1990 after the wine market order extension was voted down in a true grassroots campaign. Industry growth and public policy on a myriad of issues begged for input from small producers. One man, one vote is the bedrock principle behind Family Winemakers that guides our views on legislation, regulation, litigation and business practices. We’ve spent 25 years and counting working to loosen up the post-Prohibition restrictions in California law and broaden access to domestic markets.
The organization has always held a special place in my heart. Many years ago, long before I began writing for Eve’s Wine 101, I received in the mail [yes, the real mail] an invitation from a Northern California winery to attend a trade tasting of FWC wineries at the LAX Hilton, along with two guests. Not being sure how I had achieved this honor, I contacted the FWC offices and was assured that if I had been given the invitation that it was legitimate. Of course, my first guest was my wife Karen. Secondly, as I had been working with a client business right down the street from the venue, I invited one of their executives.
As the date of the event drew near, I received the dreaded notification from that Northern California winery telling me that I had received the invitation in error. Oops. Well, I contacted the FWC offices, pleaded my case and was granted the exception to attend based on their previous commitment. And was I glad I did. Dozens of wineries were pouring their latest releases and the ability to hang out with the people in the wine biz just made it that much more special. This one event really helped to feed my developing passion for wine.
Since writing for Eve’s Wine 101, I’ve tried to make a point of attending FWC tastings as frequently as possible. They hold an annual event in San Francisco [which I’ve never made it to] and typically one in Southern California, most often in Del Mar but in recent years sometimes in Pasadena [although not for a while]. We have made the trek to Del Mar and once to Pomona for this event, but I was very happy when FWC announced that this year the So Cal event would be back in Pasadena at the Convention Center, with the trade event starting at noon and the public tasting beginning at 2 PM. Consumers did have the opportunity to purchase VIP passes to enter with the trade – I highly recommend doing this when the opportunity presents itself.
Next week, I’ll tell you which wineries stood out for me at this year’s event.
Michael Perlis has been pursuing his passion for wine for more than 25 years. He has had the good fortune of having numerous mentors to show him the way, as well as a wonderful wife who encourages him and shares his interest. After a couple of decades of learning about wine, attending events, visiting wineries and vineyards, and tasting as much wine as he possibly could, he had the amazing luck to meet Eve Bushman. Now, as Contributing Editor for Eve’s Wine 101, he does his best to bring as much information as possible about wine to Eve’s Wine 101 faithful readers. Michael is also Vice President of Eve Bushman Consulting (fka Eve’s Wine 101 Consulting) http://evebushmanconsulting.com/ and President of MCP Financial. Michael can be contacted at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.