PRWCAPaso Robles Wine Country Alliance (California)
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While Washington wineries and growers are subject to a mandatory assessment that goes toward promoting their state's wine industry, the Paso Robles appellation has no such fee structure, and PRWCA had to raise its dues in January to cover the cost of its new initiatives.
PRWCA's winery members appear ready for the investment.
Doug Beckett, owner of Peachy Canyon Winery in Paso Robles, dropped out of PRWCA in the past, but now he is committed to the association.
Dues for growers increased roughly 10% to 40%, based on the size of the vineyards, estimated Dana Merrill, grower committee chairman for PRWCA.
Jacob believes the number is also smaller because some vineyards have changed hands and PRWCA hasn't been able to contact the new owners.
Richard Sauret, a long-time PRWCA grower member, chose not to renew his membership this year.
"(PRWCA) is more oriented toward wineries, and I didn't feel like they were doing us any good at all," Sauret said.
Sauret is president of the Independent Grape Growers of the Paso Robles Area, an organization that was started in August 2002 as a less expensive, grower-focused alternative to PRWCA. Dues are $100, and membership is now at 200, which includes both growers and associate members.