Who We Are

Family Winemakers of California is an “organization that reflects the small producer's point of view.” With nearly 5,300 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 24 years and counting working to loosen up the post-Prohibition restrictions in California law and broaden access to domestic markets. Read more about

News & Events

South Dakota joins DTC states

South Dakota becomes the 43rd state to allow direct shipping to consumers in January 2016. A bill recently signed allows out-of-state wineries to pull a $100 license and ship up to 12 cases annually per adult with appropriate age verification. Sales and excise taxes must be collected and quarterly reports filed. License forms are being developed.

Massachusetts DTC forms available

The Massachusetts ABC has an updated direct shipping license form available for wineries that want to ship.  The online, fillable PDF form is available at ABCC website (you need Adobe reader to open and use the form.  Wineries also need to register at MassTax Connect to pay the required excise taxes.  FWC first filed its lawsuit in the Bay State in 2006 to get to this point.  

FWC China program completes 1st year

Laying the groundwork to boost fine wine sales in China was the goal of Family Winemakers and Stonebridge Research's Emerging Market Program grant through USDA.  The 1st year of the project was recently completed and a final report approved by USDA.  The report outlines the accomplishments in setting up fine wine education, wine service education and wine sales education programs, as well as introducing a host of California fine wine to several targeted private client dinners in 2014.  A second year proposal is being readied.

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