At the end of February, the 22-year-old Napa/Sonoma and founding chapter of “Women for WineSense” announced its new initiatives for 2013 at “Bubbles, Brix and Buzz II” held at Gloria Ferrer Caves and Vineyards.

The event attracted more than 100 members and guests, with speaker Eva Bertran, vice president of marketing, regaling attendees with stories of the winery’s history and milestones.

Christine Mueller, Napa/Sonoma chapter president, announced plans to grow the chapter by more than 20 percent or 400 new members in 2013. To that end, chapter Membership Director Ellen Reich Luchtel announced several incentives for existing members to recruit new ones, such as free membership for a year to the member bringing in the most new members this year.

Enhancing the chapter’s membership drive is a new sponsorship program. Event sponsorships are designed to attract small and large businesses that would like to reach the organization’s membership. Sponsors will have the opportunity to support the chapter’s events while promoting their own products and services at, before and after events using various channels.

Michelle Ausburn, chapter treasurer, announced at the end of the evening that the event’s raffle and silent auction proceeds had raised $1,000 towards its annual scholarship fund drive. The chapter allocated $4,000 (a 25 percent increase over the previous year) in scholarships in 2012 to four students enrolled in wine/viticulture studies at U.C. Davis, Sonoma State University, Napa Valley College and Santa Rosa Junior College.

Upcoming chapter events include “Meet our WWS Wine Industry Experts” at Chimney Rock Winery in Napa on June 6; “Connect with the WWS Community” at Napa Style in Yountville on Aug. 15; and “Wine on America’s Holiday Table” on Dec. 12.

To join or learn more about membership, contact Reich Luchtel at or visit the organization’s website,


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