Typically, at the beginning of a new Rotary year, our members think about starting a local chapter of the RWAF in their area. This is pretty easy to do, and I am posting below some suggestions on how to do that. More importantly, it is harder to keep one going. Having a local chapter lets you hold wine events whenever you would like to, be they fun events or fundraisers. Frequently District Governors will ask the local chapters to hold a wine event at district meetings as a way to increase attendance and have more fun. Local chapters also provide another means to attract new Rotarians – and to keep the existing ones.

From a RWAF standpoint, local chapters are the way to go to increase our membership and to provide a means to keep member contact information current. Most importantly, local chapters provide members with contacts is almost every wine region in the world. The networking potential is one of the best benefits of joining the RWAF, but we need to be able to provide that information to our membership – and make it readily accessible on our website.

We are setting up a RWAF Local Chapter Committee, headed by Gretchen Bren, Local Chapter Chair, to get all the local chapters listed with current leadership contact information. We will also outline the guidelines and responsibilities of local chapters and establish a formal charter system.It would help if those who are present leaders in their local chapters and those who are interested in establishing a new local chapter or reorganizing one, would send their contact information to Gretchen Bren, gretchen.bren@gmail.com


  1. Notify the RWAF President and/or the Local Chapter Chairperson of your intentions.
  2. Decide on an appropriate name for the local chapter, typically covering one Rotary district.
  3. Contact all the known RWAF members in your designated area. The list can be obtained, at the present time, from the president and/or the secretary
  4. Hold a wine event, perhaps a wine dinner or a wine tour, and invite all the RWAF members and every wine loving Rotarian you can contact from all the clubs in your area to attend. Have an interesting format or program that will appeal to most of the attendees and have fun.
  5. Ask all the attendees to become members of the RWAF and at the same time, the local chapter. Local chapters can charge their own dues but our NCTX Chapter of about 450 members, including spouses, pay RWAF dues only and that qualifies them to be members of the local chapter – no additional dues have been necessary. Local chapter events are paid by the attendees. NOTE:All local chapter members must be RWAF members.
  6. Encourage prospective members to become Lifetime Members ($100 USD {$103.50 if using credit), no annual billing, special LTM corkscrew pin, invitation to LTM Only events). No annual billing means less administrative hassle and more commitment from the new member. Only LTMs can have the corkscrew pin. A membership includes the spouse/significant other but a second pin costs an extra $10 USD. Annual Membership costs $25 USD ($26 if using credit) and there is no pin.
  7. Plan at least four wine events during the Rotary year and work hard to get good attendance and to sign up more members. Local events can be publicized in our newsletters, on our website (www.rotarywine.net) and on our RWAF Facebook page. Send before and after event information to our Facebook editor.
  8. Arrange to have one or more wine event fund raisers so you can do a Rotary service project.
  9. Man a booth at all club and district functions advertising the RWAF and your local chapter.
  10. Inform your district Fellowships Chairman about the RWAF and your local chapter and ask for help in promoting it.
  11. Inform the district governor about the RWAF and your local chapter and ask for his/her help in promoting it. Suggest hosting a wine reception at the district conference/district assembly and/or the Rotary Foundation Seminar.
  12. When you have a decent number of members in your chapter, hold an election of officers, elect a Board of Directors and adopt a set of By-Laws patterned after the Rotary Fellowship Standard By-Laws (Recommended). Include a provision to indemnify (hold harmless) the Rotarian Wine Appreciation Fellowship, Inc. and Rotary International for the actions of the chapter. Do a risk analysis to assess your chapter’s liability and obtain event insurance coverage, etc. as needed.
  13. Encourage your members to attend the RI International Conventions and participate in the RWAF events

7 Responses

  1. Hello, I am trying to see if the is a local chapter for the wine fellowship in East Texas, close to district 5830.
    Leah Newman

    1. We will be expanding the website to be able to list the existing and pending local chapters soon, but for now, you can use the Membership List feature and find other people in your District or Country that are also members. More information will be coming on how to register your local chapter for others to find.

    2. As Gretchen said, we are updating our local chapter information, but there used to be an active local chapter in D-5830, but with COVID, etc. I don’t think they are active at this time. Hopefully that can be revived. Would you like to be part of that?

    1. We will be working on listing the local chapters, but your best option is to use the Membership list search and look for other people in your District that are members. And if they don’t have an official local chapter, you may be able to start one.

  2. Hi, Looking forward to opening one in my District 3142
    but first by opening one in my club RC of Hiranandani Estate – Club ID 57530

    Best Regards,
    PE Sukumaran Nair

    1. That would be great, Sukumaran. When you schedule your first event, let me know because I have several things I can do to help. I mailed your LTM pin yesterday.


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