Sacramento, California— The Board of Directors of the Family Winemakers of California announced today that President Paul Kronenberg would be retiring at the end of the year after 17 plus years of leadership on behalf of the small producer association. Kronenberg will work closely with the Board during the transition.
“Over the past 17 years Paul has championed small, family-owned winery public policy concerns in Sacramento’s legislative and regulatory arenas,” said FWC Chairman Joseph Harbison, owner of Harbison Estate Wines. “Improving market access for small producers has always been a major tenet of the organization and FWC’s success in shepherding the legal effort that led to the seminal direct shipping victory in Granholm v. Heald, and its capacity cap decision in the Massachusetts case are a result of his tireless efforts. We look forward to continuing FWC’s public policy engagement. We greatly appreciate what he has done for our members and the industry, and we wish him success.”
The announcement comes as Family Winemakers completes its 25th year and winds up a successful legislative session, including passage of the grower referendum extending the Pierce’s Disease Control Program.
During Kronenberg’s tenure Family Winemakers sponsored successful legislation that opened up many marketing opportunities for small producers including farmers’ market tasting and sales, off premise sales through the winery event permit, order taking at non-profit fundraising events, and expansion of social media usage for wine marketing. FWC’s lobbying efforts have helped stop excise tax increases and passage of per drink fees, as well as protect against efforts to expand social host liability. Additionally, FWC held multiple trade and consumer tastings across California every year and started a fine wine marketing project in China.
“I’ve had the honor to work with many thoughtful and dedicated people in the wine industry,” said Kronenberg. “Together, we have made tremendous strides as the industry has grown significantly. I can’t thank our directors and members enough for their support over the years.”
The Board of Directors has begun the process of managing the leadership transition.