The Tasting Panel magazine

May 2013

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Page 143 of 148

A Big Voice for Small Producers IN A HIGHLY COMPETITIVE MARKETPLACE, FAMILY WINEMAKERS OF CALIFORNIA ARE HERE TO STAY by Meridith May / photos by Leigh Castelli "T hey grow grapes here, crush here and they are here to stay," says Paul Kronenberg, President of Family Winemakers of California, a non-proit trade organization that advocates the small winemaker and producer. "Small wineries have multiple demands and need resources and marketing. We are here to help." On the organization's yearly tour, held since the group's inception in 1991, trade and consumers are introduced to the widely varied labels—and the people behind them—in one central location. "When I go back to the capitol [in Sacramento], I take off my faux winery duds and don a suit and tie to work with our lobbying team," admits Kronenberg, who is currently working with 46 bills before the California state legislature that will either help or hurt the industry. It's his job to act as the gatekeeper, representing more than 500 producers. "We are over-regulated as it is, and all we want is a free playing ield so our partners can make a sale." says Kronenberg. "The 3,000-case producer desires the opportunity to meet the million-case producer in the marketplace." Paul Kronenberg is the defender and champion of the small wine producer in California. As President of Family Winemakers of California, he has worked to keep taxes on wine from rising, created new wine sales opportunities and pushed to keep alcohol law up-to-date on the use of technology. may 2013 / the tasting panel / 143

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