The California Vintage Wine Society was founded in Los Angeles on April 17, 1963. A San Francisco Chapter was founded soon thereafter. In Los Angeles, John L. Hadley, Sr., was the leader in the creation of the Society, and he was abetted by his friend, Walter H. Sullivan, Jr., in San Francisco. Both gentlemen were prominent in business and society in their cities, and both also were prominent in wine appreciation and/or winemaking circles.

CVWS is first and foremost a wine society, a group of like-minded aficionados of California winemaking. Nearly fifty years ago, the CVWS founders understood that fine California wines, like their European counterparts, would benefit from bottle aging; hence the name, "California Vintage Wine Society." The Society maintains a cellar of carefully selected California wines, where the wines are properly stored and aged prior to being enjoyed by CVWS members and guests.


The members in both cities include winemakers, growers, distributors and restaurateurs, as well as prominent business executives, physicians, architects, engineers, bankers, investors, stockbrokers, lawyers, construction contractors, and real estate developers and brokers. Members are equally involved in other nonprofit activities such as school boards, charitable organizations, social service agency boards, and the like.

Each chapter holds 8 to 10 wine-centered events per year, including a biannual combined weekend event for members of both chapters.

wine pour

Board of Directors and Officers

Dieter Hellmoldt, President
Brad DeJean, Vice-President
Kim Jones, Treasurer
Reeve Thompson, Secretary
Marie-Jose Baum, Director
John Burns, Director
Sheila Fischer-Kiernan, Director
Sandra Gale, Director
Talley Henry, Director
Don Kieselhorst, Director
David Shepard, Director