Wine Institute

06/12/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/12/2019 11:15

Hank Wetzel of Alexander Valley Vineyards Elected Wine Institute Chairman 2019-2020

Jun 12, 2019

SAN FRANCISCO - Hank Wetzel, Founder and Family Partner of Alexander Valley Vineyards in Healdsburg, has been elected Wine Institute Board Chairman for the 2019-2020 fiscal year. The election was held at Wine Institute's 85th Annual Meeting of Members in Calistoga. Other board officers elected are John Sutton of The Wine Group in Livermore, first vice chairman; Suzanne Groth of Groth Vineyards & Winery in Oakville, second vice chairman; Rick Tigner of Jackson Family Wines in Santa Rosa, treasurer; and Randall Lange of LangeTwins Vineyards and Winery in Acampo, secretary. Bobby Koch is President and CEO of Wine Institute.

'I am honored to support Wine Institute's work in public policy and advocacy for California wineries. We hope to extend or make permanent the federal excise tax reduction and continue to advance direct-to-consumer shipping initiatives to expand consumer access to California wines. Despite challenging tariffs, I also encourage wineries to take a long-term view on building export markets to keep California wines visible on a global basis,' said Wetzel. 'All of these activities benefit both large and small wineries.'

Wetzel and multiple generations of the Wetzel family call their property at Alexander Valley Vineyards home. He worked in the vineyards at an early age and graduated from the University of California at Davis with a degree in Fermentation Science, developing a plan in his senior year for a small winery which became the blueprint for Alexander Valley Vineyards. He has held almost every position at the winery, and increased wine production over 42 years from 7,000 cases to more than 180,000 cases. The wines are now sold in every state as well as exported. From the start, Wetzel was committed to using many 'green' sustainable practices, and the winery and vineyards are CERTIFIED SUSTAINABLE through the CSWA third-party audit program and a participant in the Bay Area Green Business Program.

Wine Institute is the public policy advocacy association of nearly 1,000 California wineries and affiliated businesses, which works at the state, national and international levels to support California wineries. Based in San Francisco, with offices in Sacramento, Washington, D.C., six regions across the U.S. and 13 foreign countries, Wine Institute is guided by 80 vintners who are members and alternates on an active board of directors. The board elects the chairman and officers on an annual basis.

Wine Institute's membership also elected new district and at-large directors and alternates. District directors and their alternates were elected on a one-member-one-vote basis in each district, following nominations by regional winery associations. They are:





Kaj Ahlmann
Six Sigma Winery

To be announced


Katie Wetzel Murphy
Alexander Valley Vineyards

Harry Wetzel
Alexander Valley Vineyards

Steven MacRostie
MacRostie Winery & Vineyards

Julie Pedroncelli St. John
J. Pedroncelli Winery

Carmen Castaldi
Rodney Strong Wine Estates

Eric Lent
St. Michelle Wine Estates

Louis M. Foppiano
Foppiano Vineyards

Mark Malpiede
Williams Selyem


David Duncan
Silver Oak Cellars

Dennis Cakebread
Cakebread Cellars

Suzanne Groth
Groth Vineyards & Winery

Hugh Davies
Schramsberg Vineyards

Mike Reynolds
Hall Wines

Michael Maher
Harlan Estate

Delia Viader
Viader Vineyards

Robin Baggett
Alpha Omega Winery

Chris Hall
Long Meadow Ranch

Paul Leary
Blackbird Vineyards

San Francisco Bay:

Earl Ault
Cedar Mountain Winery

William Cooper
Cooper-Garrod Vineyards

Monterey Bay:

Scott Scheid
Scheid Vineyards

Lawrence T. Lohr
J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines

Central Coast:

Laura Booras
Riverbench Winery

Gary Eberle
Eberle Winery

Gretchen Roddick
Hope Family Wines

Karen Steinwachs
Buttonwood Farm Winery

Nicholas Miller
The Thornhill Companies

Maeve Pesquera
Daou Vineyards & Winery

To be announced

To be announced


Linda McWilliams
San Pasqual Winery

Stephen Kahle
Woof 'n Rose Winery


Steven Millier
Milliaire Winery

Elisheva Gur-Arieh
C.G. Di Arie Vineyard & Winery

Northern Interior:

Randall Lange
LangeTwins Vineyards & Winery

David Phillips
Michael-David Winery

Southern Interior:

Steven Schafer
San Joaquin Wine Company

William Nakata
ASV Wines, Inc.

All members elected 20 at-large directors who had been nominated by the Institute's Finance and Administration Committee. Alternates were chosen by at-large directors.



Corey Beck
Francis Ford Coppola Winery

Ken Minami
Francis Ford Coppola Winery

Giancarlo Bianchetti
Fetzer Vineyards

Nicole Iverson
Fetzer Vineyards

James Coleman
E. & J. Gallo Winery

To be announced

Cindy DeVries
Fetzer Vineyards

Rodrigo Maturana
Fetzer Vineyards

Michael Drobnick
O'Neill Vintners & Distillers

Matthew Towers
O'Neill Vintners & Distillers

John Franzia, Jr.
Bronco Wine Company

Daniel Leonard
Bronco Wine Company

Joseph Franzia
Bronco Wine Company

Chris Mifsud
Bronco Wine Company

Matthew Gallo
Gallo Family Vineyards

Stephanie Gallo
E. & J. Gallo Winery

Tobin Ginter
Rodney Strong Vineyards

Timothy Burgess
Rodney Strong Vineyards

Sam Glaetzer
Constellation Brands

Nichole Malec
Constellations Brands

Peter Larson
Trinchero Family Estates

Robert Trinchero
Trinchero Family Estates

James O'Malley
Brown-Forman Corporation

David Perata
Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards

John Sutton
The Wine Group

Keith Bauman
The Wine Group

Rick Tigner
Jackson Family Wines

Katie Jackson
Jackson Family Wines

Robert Torkelson
Trinchero Family Estates

Anthony Torres
Trinchero Family Estates

Brian Vos
The Wine Group

Jeff Dubiel
The Wine Group

Michael Walker
Constellation Brands

Tiffanie De Liberty
Constellation Brands

Christine Wente
Family Estates

Amy Hoopes
Wente Family Estates

Jeff Wesselkamper
Jackson Family Wines

Carolyn Wasem
Jackson Family Wines

Jolene Yee
Delicato Family Vineyards

Cheryl Indelicato
Delicato Family Vineyards

Journalists requiring further information, or for image permission to accompany media coverage, should contact the Wine Institute Communications Dept.