Family Winemakers sponsors and supports legislative measures that expand wine sales channels and loosens overly restrictive tied-house laws.  Since 1991, the association has lobbied to enact the bills listed below.  In addition, FWC has helped defeat a multitude of bills that would raise excise taxes, establish per drink fees and add to the regulatory burden.

Legislative Activity

  • Sponsored AB 1642 (Chesbro), which allows winegrape growers to vote on extending the Pierce's Disease Program for another five years.
  • Sponsored AB 2488 (Levine), which allows wineries to pour tastes at farmers' markets.
  • Supported AB 1116 (Hall), which extends and expands the private event sales permit.
  • Sponsored SB 2 (Wiggins), which allows winegrape growers to vote on extending the Pierce's Disease Program for another five years.
  • Sponsored SB 157 (Wiggins), which created a uniform and expanded list of non profits that can hold wine tastings where wine can be donated and poured, and orders taken.
  • Supported AB 2004 (Evans), which expanded licensed wineries privileges to on-sale consumption.
  • Supported AB 1964 (Evans), which allows for early deliveries of wine to non-profits with pending event permits.
  • Supported AB 2293 (de Leon), which allows wineries to hold private, invitation-only brand promotion events.
  • Sponsored SB 108 (Wiggins), which expanded the number of non-profit wine tasting events where orders can be taken.
  • Supoorted AB 323 (Evans) in 2007 to allow custom crush producers to donate and pour wine at nonprofit tasting events.
  • Supported nondiscriminatory direct shipping in Florida in 2006 & 2007; advocacy kept state open to shipping without production cap.
  • Supported SB 1380 (Chesbro) to protect Sonoma wine labels.
  • Sponsored SB 118 (Chesbro) to convert California's reciprocal wine shipping law to a permit system that will broaden consumer choice in domestically produced wine.
  • Cosponsored SB 1650 (Chesbro) to allow winegrape growers to vote on extending the industry assessment that supports Pierce’s disease research
  • Sponsored SB 88 (Chesbro) to allow wineries to sell bottled wine at qualifying non-profit events
  • Sponsored AB 1505 (Wiggins) to allow wineries to take orders at wine tastings for later delivery
  • Cosponsored AB 1394 (Wiggins) to form the California Pierce’s Disease Control Program
  • Sponsored AB 2520 (Thomson) to allow wineries to sell bottled wine at certified farmers’ markets
  • Sponsored AB 1459 (Wiggins) to require a report on processor fees and whether the structure is appropriate to overall program revenues.


Family Winemakers has poured over $1.5 million into direct shipping reform through litigation and lobbying in selected states — more then any other statewide association.  Below is a list of activities that started in 2000 with the first amicus brief in the original Indiana case.

Litigation Activity

  • Defeated Massachusetts's discriminatory production cap law at the 1st Circuit Court of Appeal in 2010.
  • Funded moot court preparation for attorneys in the Arizona direct shipping appeal at the 9th Circuit.
  • Filed an amicus brief in the Indiana case appeal in 2007 to preserve a lower court decision that declared face-to-face transactions unconstitutional in direct shipping.
  • Supported and funded the U.S. Supreme Court case to allow direct-to-consumer wine shipments by wineries.
  • Helped fund the merits brief on the combined Michigan & New York case
  • Helped fund Stanford University Law School Dean Kathleen Sullivan as counsel for the oral argument
  • Helped fund Pepperdine University Law School Dean Ken Starr’s involvement on overall strategy and drafting of circuit court of appeal briefs
  • Helped fund the national industry amicus brief on impact to wineries
  • Organized the regional associations amicus brief on the history of the 21st Amendment
  • Helped fund numerous moot court sessions for circuit court appeals and the Supreme Court argument
  • Filed amicus briefs on behalf of Family Winemakers of California and small producers in Indiana, Florida, North Carolina, New York, Virginia and Texas.
  • Helped fund intervener briefs in a case challenging California’s Pierce’s Disease Control Program




California Government
United States Government
Wine Organizations

Wine Education

University of California, Davis
California State University, Fresno
Cal Poly San Luis Opisbo