About

(l-r: Barbara Brandhorst, Gordon Murchie, Anita Murchie, Carl Brandhorst) Former ASWA Presidents Gordon Murchie and Carl Brandhorst outside the Virginia Governor's Cup Reception 2015.

(l-r: Barbara Brandhorst, Gordon Murchie, Anita Murchie, Carl Brandhorst) Former ASWA Presidents Gordon Murchie and Carl Brandhorst at the Virginia Governor’s Cup Reception 2015.

The Atlantic Seaboard Wine Association promotes American wine produced in the seventeen eastern states: all those that touch the Atlantic Ocean plus West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Vermont. We are a trade organization founded in 1973 as the Vinifera Wine Growers Association, renamed in 2008 to reflect our expanded regional focus.

Our mission is to increase awareness of the fine wines of the Atlantic seaboard through trade and consumer education. We liaise with national, state, and regional wine organizations to identify opportunities to highlight the wines and winemakers working here. “Sampling is the best approach to bringing attention to the quality of wines produced in the East,” says Association President Grant Crandall.

While many people are acquainted with the top producers of their home states, ASWA’s modus operandi is to showcase a wide variety of the region’s wines, as many as 48 per tasting. This serves to illustrate the breadth of quality across states and terroirs; vinifera, hybrid, and native American grapes; and styles unique to winemakers experimenting in this relatively young region.

columnist Dave McIntyre judges at ASWashington Post wine columnist Dave McIntyre judges at ASWA Wine Competition 2015.WA Wine Competition 2015.

Washington Post wine columnist Dave McIntyre judges at ASWA Wine Competition 2015.

To help identify the best of the best, ASWA holds an annual wine competition, the largest in the nation focused exclusively on the wines of the East Coast. The competition is held in late summer and judged by a  panel of professionals hailing from all parts of the country including California, Florida, Pennsylvania, Virginia and more.

We host an awards ceremony on Capitol Hill every year after the completion of the competition under the auspices of the Congressional Wine Caucus. The perpetual Jefferson Loving Cup, designed by Tiffany in sterling silver, is engraved with the winning winery’s name and presented to the Best of Show entrant.

(l-r: Grant Crandall, Chef John Ash, host Steve Garner, Carl Brandhorst) ASWA at "Good Food Hour" radio talk show in Sonoma.

(l-r: Grant Crandall, Chef John Ash, host Steve Garner, Carl Brandhorst) ASWA at “Good Food Hour” radio talk show in Sonoma.

Winning wines are then showcased at the Unified Wine and Grape Symposium in Sacramento, CA, the leading wine industry convention typically drawing 15,000 attendees. The wines generally receive coverage on several west coast radio programs while ASWA representatives are in California, and a seminar and tasting at UC Davis is a regular part of our program. Opportunities for increased exposure continue throughout the year.

2012 Productivity Tray was awarded by Carl Brandhorst to John Manfreda, Administrator of TTB. Former ASWA President Gordon Murchie looks on.

2012 Productivity Tray was awarded by Carl Brandhorst to John Manfreda, Administrator of TTB. Former ASWA President Gordon Murchie looks on.

ASWA’s additional awards include the Monteith Wine Bowl Trophy, presented to individuals or organizations that have made exceptional contributions to the development and sustainability of the American wine industry; the Wine Grape Productivity Tray which, since 1984, is awarded to an individual or organization that has made major contributions to the sustainable growth and economic viability of the American wine industry; and the Birchenall Award, the newest ASWA recognition, given to a member of the wine media for drawing attention to the East Coast wine industry. It is named for former ASWA Board Member Michael Birchenall acknowledging his many contributions to the coverage of the East Coast wine and food industries. 

In addition to conducting tastings, seminars, and media events around the country, ASWA also organizes the Virginia Wine Festival, the longest-running consumer wine show in the Commonwealth of Virginia, founded in 1975.

ASWA board members look forward to learning of new opportunities to promote and showcase the wines of our region. Contact us with ideas for college or university presentations, conferences, trade or consumer samplings, webinars, benefit tastings, and media events.

To become a member of the association, wineries need simply take part in our wine competition or in the Virginia Wine Festival. Regardless of participation, our educational and promotional efforts encompass the full scope of East Coast wine production.

Board of Directors/Honorary Members

Grant Crandall, PresidentGrant Crandall
President

703-280-4411
After decades of interest in promoting recognition of the development of top quality wines on the East Coast including several years as a member of the Board of Directors of the Atlantic Seaboard Wine Association, Grant Crandall became First Vice President of the ASWA in 2013 and then President in 2016. He has been active in a number of wine organizations and has given a large number of presentations on a wide range of topics on wine nationally and internationally. After participation in the Wine Judge Training Program of the American Wine Society, he judges in a number of wine competitions. A former Rhodes Scholar, he retired after more than forty years as an attorney, having been the managing partner of a regional law firm and then General Counsel of the United Mine Workers of America. He is fortunate enough to have a wonderful wife, Angela, who actively supports their wine interests including work with the ASWA.
Fletcher Henderson
1st Vice President

(703) 899-0929
Fletcher Henderson has more than 20 years of experience of work in the wine industry. He is a winemaker with six vintages experience.. Prior to becoming a winemaker he was employed by wine distribution/ import companies. He developed a specialty in Spanish wines and spent many years both employed by import companies and as an independent broker traveling to Spain to source wines. He has been a Vice President of the Atlantic Seaboard Wine Association since 2015. Prior to his experiences in the wine industry, he was in the fields of construction, commercial diving, and commercial fishing.
bm_Mike_WassenbergMike Wassenberg
2nd Vice President

(540) 341-1058
Mike Wassenberg serves as Vice President of the Atlantic Seaboard Wine Association (ASWA) and belongs to several chapters of the American Wine Society (AWS), German Wine Society and Knights of the Vine. As an AWS Certified Wine Judge, he enjoys participating in several of the local, regional and National competitions as well as co-chairing the annual AWS Commercial Wine Competition. He is a partner in five wineries; three in Virginia, one in North Carolina and one with his nephew in Kansas. He is also a Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET) Diploma candidate and graduate of the German Wine Academy.
bm_richard_milesRichard Miles
Treasurer


(703) 264-9392
Richard A. Miles grew up in Brooklyn, NY and received his BS in Accounting from Fordham University. He moved to the Washington, DC area during his service in the U. S. Navy and did his graduate studies in Management Accounting at George Washington University. He is a CPA, licensed in the State of Virginia and has served as Treasurer of the ASWA for nearly ten years.
bm_david_barberDavid A. Barber
Secretary & Competition Chairman

(703) 941-2384
Dave Barber is a member of the Board of Directors of the Atlantic Seaboard Wine Association (ASWA), where he serves as Secretary as well as the Competition Chairman and has chaired or co-chaired the annual Wine Competition for over 10 years. He is a long-term member of the American Wine Society (AWS) and is a graduate and Certified Wine Judge from the AWS Wine Judge Training Program, within which he also instructs, mentors students, and administers the final examination. The AWS also recognized him as its ‘Outstanding Member’ in 2011. He has presented innumerable wine seminars on various topics and has judged in many wine competitions, as well as having written numerous articles that have been published in various wine magazines. He currently works with various Virginia wineries in their tasting rooms and also at various festivals. Dave also enjoys traveling and has visited numerous wine areas on three continents and has been inducted into several wine brotherhoods in the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Serbia, Switzerland, and Hungary as well as being a Master Knight within the Brotherhood of the Knights of the Vine of America where he also serves as the Provost General of the Northeastern United States.
Jennifer Crafts
Board Member
Jennifer Crafts has been a member of the American Wine Society (AWS) for over 15 years, in multiple local chapters. As an AWS Certified Wine Judge, she has judged commercial and amateur wines at local, state, and international competitions. She is a Gentle Lady of the National Capital area chapter of the Brotherhood of the Knights of the Vine (KOV), and has attended KOV international conferences. She travels internationally with her husband to taste wines. Her graduate degrees are in Industrial/Organizational Psychology and she works as a Senior Study Director at Westat, in Rockville, MD.
Mary Ann Dancisin
Board Member
Mary Ann Dancisin has been working in the wine trade for close to three decades. She began her career in New York with a well-respected importer/wholesaler where she held positions in Marketing and Administration. Following her move to Virginia in 2006, Mary Ann began exploring the Virginia wine scene and knew the time was right for the wines of the Eastern US to take a more prominent place in world wine discussions. “Everyone in the wine trade here has a unique and passionate story about falling in love with the grape. As a Board member of ASWA, I hope get these stories out to a wider audience.”

Mary Ann wrote and edited for the Virginia Wine Gazette, both print and online editions. Her articles also have appeared in Flavor Magazine, The Fauquier Times-Democrat, and InFauquier. She has consulted for several Virginia wineries and provided support for the national wine education program run by her former NYC employer. From 2012 through 2017, she learned the retail side of the business as General Manager at a family-run winery in Rappahannock County. She is a member of the Society of Wine Educators, holding the Certified Specialist of Wine credential. In 2015, she earned the WSET Level 2 Diploma With Distinction.
bm_carl_brandhorstCarl Brandhorst
President Emeritus

(703) 323-6873
Carl G. Brandhorst became a Board Member of the Atlantic Seaboard Wine Association (ASWA) in 2001; initiated and served as Chairman or Co-Chairman of the ASWA Wine Competition from 2005 to 2015; became the ASWA President in 2008 and President Emeritus in 2016. He served as past President of the DC chapter of the German Wine Society, a member of the Society of Wine Educators, a founding member of the D.C. Chapter of the Brotherhood of the Knights of the Vine, and is an active member of the Dionysian Wine Society International. He has attended the German and the Austrian Wine Academies and is an honorary member of several European wines societies in England, Switzerland, Hungary, Spain and Slovenia.. He has been a Professional Wine Judge since 2000 and participated in the San Francisco Chronicle, Sonoma and Lake County, Finger Lakes International, and the American Wine Society competitions.
Bob MoeBob Moe
Board Member

Previous Partner The Winery at La Grange

(540) 270-0279
Bob Moe started Moe Technologies in 2001 and manages over 150 websites, providing web development, search engine optimization (SEO), website hosting and maintenance. He is active in local Chambers in the Northern Virginia area and on the Board of the Atlantic Seaboard Wine Association, Haymarket/Gainesville Business Association and Fauquier County Pickleball Association.
bm_edward_addissEdward Addiss
Board Member

Wine Traditions Ltd.
(703) 333-2853
Edward Addiss is the President of Wine Traditions Ltd., an importing company that specializes in the wines of France. Wine Traditions was started in 1996 by Ed and his wife, Barbara Selig, and is located in Falls Church, Virginia. Prior to starting Wine Traditions, he worked with different companies in the wine trade beginning in 1979, including retailers and importers in New York City and then spent eleven years with the San Francisco Wine Exchange where he introduced new and little known California wineries to the East Coast. He is a graduate of the Berklee School of Music in Boston and has a degree in composition. He has been a judge for numerous East Coast wine competitions and serves on the Board of the Atlantic Seaboard Wine Association.
bm_william_earleWilliam Earle
Board Member

National Association of Beverage Importers
(202) 393-6224
William T. Earle has been President of the National Association of Beverage Importers (NABI) since 2007. He retired from a 33-year career with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms in July 2004. He left ATF after serving seven years as Assistant Director and Chief Financial Officer. In July 2008 he received the ATF’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Prior to joining NABI Mr. Earle served as the Chairman of the Code Compliance Review Board, a third party review process established by the Beer Institute. He served on the 13th term of the Customs and Border Protection Advisory Committee on Commercial Operations. He was the only representative of the beverage alcohol industry to COAC. He was responsible for national beverage alcohol regulatory and tax policy for a significant portion of his time as an executive at ATF. He is a graduate of Rutgers University and attended Brooklyn Law School. He earned his MBA at Southern Illinois University with a specialty in finance.
Tom PayetteTom Payette
Board Member
Tom Payette is a winemaker and winemaking consultant with a degree in Food Science Technology from Virginia Tech. Tom has consulted on 25+ vintages on the East Coast as well as assisting for eight vintages in the Napa Valley. He is an expert in avoiding costly pitfalls, nurturing new winemakers and assisting new winery start-ups from concept to construction to cork, and onward to the consumer. He has set up more than 42 wineries to date and has expanded numerous others. www.winemakingconsultant.com
Walt Rachele
Board Member
Walter Rachele had an early love of wine and has been actively engaged with wine in several capacities. He was a founding member (1988) of the Nation’s Capital Chapter of the Brotherhood of the Knights of the Vine, an international organization with chapters in the United States. He is a long standing member of the American Wine Society(1984) where he graduated from the Wine Judge Certification Program (1994) and returned to it as an instructor where he continues to be active. Walt has served on the AWS Board of Directors. As Board member of the AWS Educational Foundation his wine knowledge grows from communication with the graduate students being awarded scholarships. He also served as the Chapter Chairman of the Carroll County AWS Chapter from 2000-2001 before moving to Virginia. He participated as a judge in several competitions such as Maryland Governor’s Cup, the New Jersey Governor’s Cup and the Pennsylvania Governor’s Cup, as well as in several local county festivals at both the commercial and amateur levels. He has traveled extensively to increase his wine knowledge and has visited Spain, Portugal, Slovenia, Switzerland, France, England, Hungary and Serbia. He currently resides in Northern Virginia.

Walter holds a Master’s in Business Management; spent over 35 years in various positions In accounting & finance. Positions include CFO of importer (industrial machines), accountant at Virginia Imports (wine and beer), several non-profits including Red Cross and Catholic Charities, banking, manufacturing and consulting firms.
Kathy Wiedemann
Board Member
Kathy Lang Weidemann is an IT Professional with an extreme passion for wine. She worked in the tasting room at Barrel Oak Winery from March 2012 to January 2014. In April 2014, she joined the Casanel Winery & Vineyard team where she is a Senior Wine Educator conducting tastings and designing/teaching wine education classes. Kathy is very active in social media relating to wine, especially Virginia wine. She considers herself to be a wine blogger that never blogs. On Twitter, she is @virginiamade (and @vinousmusings), Instagram @virginia_made (and @vinousmusings) and her “non-blog” is www.vinousmusings.com (Facebook www.facebook.com/vinousmusings).

In October 2018, Kathy was named the Wine Ambassador of the Year for Loudoun County for her work in promoting Loudoun County wine and wine education for winery staff. Kathy took her deep dive into wine study in 2012 taking local wine classes and eventually joining the Wine & Spirit Education Trust program through the Capital Wine School. She was awarded her WSET II Intermediate Certificate in 2013 and her WSET III Advanced Certificate early in 2018. Mid-2018, she began the WSET Diploma program which will take about two years to complete. She hopes to sit for her Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) through the Society of Wine Educators in early 2019. Kathy is an active member of the Guild of Sommeliers, German Wine Society, and Society of Wine Educators.
Paul Tonacci
Board Member
Paul Tonacci is a Certified Sommelier through the Court of Master Sommeliers, a Certified Specialist of Wine through the Society of Wine Educators and a Certified Wine Judge through the American Wine Society. Additionally, he participates as a Cider and Perry Judge in competitions throughout the U.S. He has opened his own wine bar and boutique wine shop in Atlantic City, NJ, has worked as a wine broker and importer, is a published wine writer and is a member of various wine groups like the Brotherhood of the Knights of the Vine, Outer Coastal Plain Vineyard Association, Garden State Wine Growers Association, American Wine Society, and beverage tourism groups like Visit South Jersey among others.



bm_gordon_murchieGordon W. Murchie
President Emeritus

(703) 922-7049
M.A. Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy, retired Foreign Service Officer with multiple international postings, 1958-1993, board member Vinifera Wine Growers Association 1985, president VWGA 1989-2007, president and board member Atlantic Seaboard Wine Association, 2008. Currently president emeritus ASWA. Former executive director Virginia Wineries Association, board member Virginia Wine Council, executive director National Wine Coalition, 1993-1996, executive director Licensed Beverage Information Council, national and international U.S. wine history lecturer, has judged in both state and national wine competitions. Also, has served as wine consultant to George Washington’s Mount Vernon, 1997 to present. Supreme Knight, Brotherhood of the Knights of the Vine. Selected “Person of the Year” 1998 and “Lifetime Achievement Cup” Virginia wine industry 2005, “Award of Merit” American Wine Society 2011 and special George Washington bronze bust award 2016. Wife, Anita, served as editor VWGA Wine Exchange newsletter and executive secretary and board member for most of Gordon’s wine industry affiliations over 25-year period. The Murchies were selected to lead People to People wine tours to China ‘96, South Africa ‘97 and Australia ‘99.
bm_anne_vercelliAnne Vercelli
West Coast Representative


707-953-0332
Anne Vercelli is the Assistant Director of the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, the largest competition of American wine in the world. Vercelli has coordinated the Professional Food Judgings of the Sonoma County Harvest Fair since 1987. Anne is a Professional Wine Judge having served on judging panels for the International Women’s Competition, East Meets West Competition, and the ASWA Competition. She is a Culinary Institute of America graduate and has been teaching Italian Cooking and Wine Classes at Santa Rosa Junior College since 1981. She was in restaurant management for seven years in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Atlantic Seaboard Win Association LogoFred Butcher
Honorary Member

(301) 572-6977
Atlantic Seaboard Win Association LogoBill Heidig
Honorary Member

Lake Anna Winery
(540) 895-5085
Atlantic Seaboard Win Association LogoMary Watson
Honorary Member

Lansdowne Resort
(703) 729-4073
contributions_juanita_swedenburg_tnJuanita Swedenburg
Founding Member

Contributions
Juanita Swedenburg Memorial Viticultural
and Enological Educational Fund
ASWA, P.O. Box 10045, Alexandria, VA 22310
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Mission Objectives

  1. Promoting general public wine education and appreciation.
  2. Promoting consumer public wine enjoyment and responsible moderate consumption as part of a healthy life style.
  3. Supporting state, national, and international wine educational forums and research.
  4. Supporting state and national production of quality wine and the marketability of American wines.
  5. Vigorously supporting state and federal legislation thats favorable to growth and economic viability of the U.S. wine industry.
  6. Strengthening cooperation with other wine organizations in addressing wine issues of common concern.