Formed in 1950, and originally composed of researchers from the University of California and California winemakers, the Society has held a steady growth over the years. We currently have 2,400 members, 100 Industrial Affiliates (companies), and have three chapters: an Eastern U.S. Chapter (Eastern Section), a Pacific Northwest Chapter, and the Japan Chapter.
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The seeds of what was to become the American Society of Enologists were planted and diligently cultivated by Charles B. Holden, M.S. a few years before the Society became a reality. He traveled many miles and spent many hours of his time (and quite a bit of money) visiting wineries, winemakers and winery owners to explain his hopes of founding a Society to enhance the image of the winemakers, enologists and chemists and elevate them to the status they so richly deserved. He spoke to many of the local technical groups throughout the state. Thanks to Ze’ev Halperin, who recalls Charley Holden speaking to the monthly meeting of the San Joaquin Valley Winemakers in July of 1948 in Fresno, California. His subject – more dignity for the Winemaker! More realization by the wine industry that the Winemaker is the central figure in the art and science of making wine! He simply suggested that the technical people within the wine industry get together and form an organization dedicated to the upgrading of the technical field through scientific approaches. This was the first time Ze’ev and the rest of the assembled members of our budding industry heard about an organization to become the prestigious group it turned out to be. This message was repeated to many other wine groups throughout the state. Translating Charley Holden’s idea into reality was not a smooth sailing affair.
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