Who We Are


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. 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 more than 30 years and counting working to loosen up the post-Prohibition restrictions in California law and broaden access to domestic markets. 


What is Granholm?  DTC gateway

In a fast-paced world not many will look back 11 years ago to recall one of the most seminal moments in wine industry history.  On December 7, 2004 the United States Supreme Court heard arguments in Granholm v. Heald and the decision it rendered five months later forever changed the arc of how wine is sold to consumers in the nation and the fortunes of small producers.  The unstinting support of Family Winemakers' small, family-owned winery members played an integral role in pressing the litigation strategy that led to the hearing. The case continues to resonate as the number of direct-to-consumer states grows to 43 with the addition of South Dakota in January 2016.  It's a good reminder that collective action by small wineries can make a huge difference.

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