Officers & Staff

Family Winemakers of California members elect a chair and vice chair every year from among regular members who have served on the board. These officers oversee the operations of the association and can be elected for only two consecutive terms. The secretary and treasurer are appointed from within the board.

Ron Fenolio
Veedercrest Vineyard & Winery

Robert Sobon
Vice Chair
Sobon Estate

Bruce Lundquist
Rack & Riddle Custom Wine Services

Jon Phillips
Chair Emeritus
Inspiration Vineyards

Edgar "Pete" Downs
Email Ron Email Robert Email Bruce Email Jon Email Pete



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Who We Are

Family Winemakers of California is an “organization that reflects the ‘little guy’s’ point of view.” With nearly 5,400 licensed wineries in California someone needs to be the actual voice 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 30 years and counting working to loosen up the post-Prohibition restrictions in California law and broaden access to domestic markets. Great wine needs a market. “Free Trade for Small Wineries in U.S. Markets” was a discussion paper generated by the founders that said, “The most important and in fact the only important reason for small wineries under 100 tons to join [FWC] would be to work for the right to market directly to end users thereby by-passing the 3-tier system.”

Direct-to-consumer wine sales by wineries has been one of the main public policy issues embraced by the association. It led to Family Winemakers intense involvement in direct shipping litigation that resulted in the landmark Granholm decision in 2005. From a limited market of 13 reciprocal states, consumer choice has now been expanded to 41 states and the District of Columbia, and counting. Family Winemakers has pursued legislation over the years to create numerous sales channels for small producers that has resulted in wine being sold at certified farmers’ markets, at fairs and festivals, and through order taking at thousands of non-profit wine tastings. And FWC has said no repeatedly to state excise take increases, new fees and laws that would overly hamper business operations.


Family Winemakers of California advocates the rights and interests of its members to freely produce, market and sell their products, and is dedicated to preserving the diversity of California wine. 

In fulfilling its mission, the association has sponsored legislation in the past 17 years to expand the ability of wineries, particularly small producers, to compete in the marketplace. Additionally, FWC has taken a leadership role in pushing and funding the litigation strategy to open up domestic markets for direct-to-consumer wine sales. That investment resulted in the 2005 U.S. Supreme Court decision that overturned discriminatory laws in Michigan and New York (Granholm v. Heald). FWC followed up with a four-year case against Massachusetts and its discriminatory production cap law, which resulted in the 1st Circuit Court of Appeal sustaining our view.


Family Winemakers of California
P.O. Box 99
Windsor, CA 95492-099

Ph: (916) 498-7500 


Justin Baldwin, Justin Vineyards & Winery
Bo Barrett, Chateau Montelena Winery
Jeffrey Blair, Blair Wines
Greg Boeger, Boeger Winery
Mike Brown, Cantara Cellars
Steven Brutocao, Brutocao Vineyards & Cellars
Paul Bush, Madrona Vineyards
Skip Coomber, Coomber Family Wines
Scot Covington, Trione Vineyards & Winery
Debra Dommen, Treasury Wine Estates
Ed Embly, Hungry Hawk Vineyards
Ron Fenolio, Veedercrest Vineyard & WInery
Jim Gullett, Vino Noceto
Joseph Harbison, Harbison Wines
Scott Harvey, Scott Harvey Wines
Tom Hinde, Prestige Wine Co.
Bruce Lundquist, Rack & Riddle Custom Wine Services
John Monnich, Silkwood Wines
Dave Nagengast, Scheid Vineyards
Jon Phillips, Inspiration Vineyards
Robert Sobon, Sobon Estate
GinaLisa Tamayo, Jackson Family Wines
Nils Venge, Saddleback Cellars