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Family Winemakers of California
An Association of California Table Wine Producers


FWC lawsuit finally spurs statutory revision

   Wineries of all sizes across the nation, and Massachusetts adults, have a reason to be cheered by Governor Patrick’s signature on the state budget July 11, which included a long anticipated revision to the state’s wine shipping law.  “We know consumers and wineries have been waiting since 2006 for this day," said Joseph Harbison, chair of Family Winemakers of California (FWC) and owner of Harbison Estate Wines in Oakville, California.  "The legal case that led to legislative change was extremely important because it acknowledges that post-Granholm discriminatory laws like production caps cannot pass legal muster. ”
    In 2010 the U.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals agreed in Family Winemakers of California v. Jenkins that overwhelming evidence showed the state’s direct shipping law was discriminatory both in purpose and effect.  Wine consumers will be able to choose which wines they want in January 2015 since wineries of all production sizes can apply for a license to ship directly to adult residents.
   The appellate decision in Family Winemakers of California v. Jenkins upheld Judge Rya Zobel’s district court ruling in November 2008.  Family Winemakers, as lead plaintiff, filed the case in September 2006.  “Our winery members welcome the opportunity to finally make direct-to-consumer sales in Massachusetts,” said Paul Kronenberg, president of FWC.
   Tracy Genesen, Lecturer in Law at Stanford Law School, was lead attorney on the case and argued at the district court and appellate level that the Twenty-first Amendment does not grant states the authority to enact facially neutral but discriminatory wine laws that would otherwise violate the Commerce Clause.
   The remaining piece of the puzzle is fixing the common carrier fleet licensing issue.
(Posted July 11, 2014)


Governor Brown signs AB 2488 into law

Starting immediately certified farmer's markets across California can allow wine tasting from wineries selling wine by the bottle.  Family Winemakers' co-sponsored bill, AB 2488, to allow limited tastings was signed by Governor Brown on July 8.  As an urgency measure it takes effect as soon as signed.

Assemblymember Marc Levine's (AD 10) bill will provide wineries operating at farmer's markets with the standard tasting tools needed to sell wine.  Sampling is designed to boost the potential for this sales channel.  Tasting is limited to one winery per market day.  No more then 3 total ounces can be offered to an adult consumer.  Bottle sales have been allowed at farmer's markets since 2000 under a previous FWC-sponsored bill.
(Posted July 9, 2014)

Which wineries do direct-to-consumer sales?

Welcome to Family Winemakers of California's web site. The most value-added feature of the web site is our "Buying CA Wine" consumer map. Click there and you can simply find out if you live in a state that allows direct to consumer sales and more importantly, which Family Winemakers members are selling in your state. The list you'll find under each state will give you a direct link to that winery and its online store. Each state page contains valuable information for consumers buying wine.

Quick contact info

If you'd like to contact us you may do so by calling (916) 498-7500. Our fax number is (916) 498-7505.

Or write us a letter and mail it to:
Family Winemakers of California
520 Capitol Mall, Suite 260
Sacramento CA 95814

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