As you know, 2017 is the Golden Anniversary of AWS – 50 great years of wine education and appreciation. It’s a significant milestone for the society but we had another milestone in 1992…..our Silver Anniversary. In order to appreciate where AWS was after 25 years, I thought it would be nice to look back at what was going on during our Silver Anniversary year.
· Randy Hurteau from Spartanburg, SC was the AWS President
· We had close to 4,000 members and 70 chapters
· Dues were $32 for a single or couple
· The National Conference was in Rochester, NY and Co-chaired by John & Anne Stavisky. Around 500 people attended the conference and sessions were mostly focused on winemaking and eastern U.S. wines.
· Angel Nardone was in her tenth year as AWS Executive Director. A position she would hold for eleven more years.
· Dr. Andrew Rice was the Award of Merit recipient for his work in promoting the eastern U.S. wine industry and their shift to Vinifera grapes
· Alton Long was the Outstanding Member Award recipient
· The National Tasting project was in its third year of existence under the leadership of Pam Lackmeyer (you may know her as Pam Davey) and the theme was Chardonnay.
· The Wine Judge Training Program graduated eight people, including two long-time members who continue to present memorable conference sessions, Gary Pavlis & Joe Fiola.
· Matt & Carol Kristofik were in their third year as Co-chairs of the Commercial Wine Competition and there were 1,190 entries. They would continue to run the CWC for (16) more years.
· Karl Northrup & Nancy Hammond were co-chairs of the Amateur Wine Competition, and the Best of Show winner was Dale Marston from VA for his ’91 Chambourcin
· Jane Moulton took over as Editor of the AWS Journal, a position she would hold until 2007. Bryan Fazekas was Editor of the AWS News.
· Al Porell promoted the idea of starting a charitable foundation to promote enology scholarships and the American Wine Society Educational Foundation was formed.
Recognize some of those names? Dedicated members who were making a difference for AWS (25) years ago and many of them are still making a difference today.
A lot changed as we went from Silver to Gold but this isn’t time to rest on our laurels. Are you one of those dedicated members that will help us get to our Diamond Anniversary?
John Hames – AWS Historian