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Learn about wine with The American Wine Society

The American Wine Society 

There’s always more to learn about wine

The American Wine Society (AWS) is a consumer organization that appreciates, celebrates, and shares knowledge about wine. With a membership of more than 8,000 people -- we talk about, taste and explore the incredible variety, depth, and character of the noble grape.

Wine discovery is a fun and lifelong adventure—one we invite you to share. Join the American Wine Society today and participate in local wine tastings at one of our 180 chapters across the United States. Make new friends. Share a glass of wine and learn about the history, culture and traditions involved in making and drinking wine. Discover more about what is in your glass.

A history of sharing wine knowledge

The American Wine Society celebrates its 50th Anniversary this year and is the largest consumer-based wine education organization in North America. Membership is open to anyone aged 21 and over who is interested in learning about wine.

The first American Wine Society meeting took place in Western New York at the vineyard of Dr. Konstantin Frank on Keuka Lake near Hammondsport on October 7, 1967. The inaugural meeting included 200 grape growers, home winemakers, and wine lovers. As AWS grew, the emphasis evolved to a shared vision of appreciating wine from across the globe and educating others about it.

AWS Founder Dr. Konstantin Frank


The Society incorporated in Michigan in 1973 under the AWS Bylaws. We are governed by a Board of Directors and operated by an Executive Director and national office following adopted Policies and Practices. Regional vice presidents and chapter chairs are the backbone of our local support system.


Winemakers are integral to AWS

 Most early members of the Society were winemakers, and the American Wine Society continues to value this key segment of our membership. Even today, 30 percent of the members are amateur winemakers - a fact we take great pride in mentioning. Some of our amateur winemakers go on to commercial winemaking.


Wine competitions | National wine conference

Each November, the Society hosts commercial and amateur wine competitions, using AWS-certified wine judges to provide consistent, objective evaluations of each wine. The amateur wine competition started in 1975, and the commercial wine competition was added in 1986, making this pair of events some of the longest-running wine competitions in the United States.

During the same time, the Society also hosts a three-day National Wine Conference with two full days of educational seminars--nearly 50 sessions to choose from. Winery owners, wine educators, and renowned wine makers are selected to present during the national meeting.

In addition, AWS offers an opportunity for members to participate in the three-year program to become an AWS certified wine judge, or to take the less intensive Super Tasting Series-- Level I class. These courses are offered on the day preceding the national wine conference seminars.



Wine- growing and wine-drinking are attached at the roots to the most widespread and longest-lived civilizations the earth has known.

-- Hugh Johnson,
author of the World Atlas of Wine

Wine exploration never stops

After a half century, the American Wine Society is still going strong, and growing every year. The subject of wine is nearly limitless and touches on geography, history, sociology, and science. Wine has survived civilizations, war, and famine. It has accompanied explorers, homesteaders, kings, and commoners; both in daily living, and in our most exceptional celebrations.


Come discover wine with AWS!

AWS Founder Dr. Konstantin Frank
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WSET Level 2 Wine Award

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