We owe our start to two gentlemen in San Antonio. Joe Pat Clayton and Eric Ferrell saw that San Antonio was lacking an organization that other wine professionals and enthusiasts could be a part of. Yes, we’ve had some tasting groups in the past in San Antonio, but nothing with a kind of permanence. Eric and Joe Pat reached out to people they knew as Somms, food and beverage managers/staff, retailers, distributors, and enthusiasts to gauge their interest in creating something different here. After a few months of talking they called the first meeting of this group.
At that first meeting we had 10 people show. Each of us wondering what this group would become. We all shared a passion for wine. We all shared a frustration that there was a lack of wine culture in a city so close to one of the most popular wine tourist destinations in the country. We wanted to have a camaraderie like other cities in Texas. We voiced our hopes and opinions of what we should be and were lucky to taste some amazing wine. At the end of the first meeting we agreed to meet in one month and bring ideas of how we wanted to proceed. And we had a name – The San Antonio Sommelier Association, aka SASA.
Our second meeting saw the loss of Eric to a promotion within his company to The Woodlands, TX. We had a couple new faces. We discussed some more of what we we wanted out this group. We elected our officers and put in their hands the responsibility of creating a structure for our new group. And we again tasted some amazing wine.
Our officers met a couple weeks later to hammer out all the boring administrative details. Things like Bylaws, Mission Statements, policies, procedures, accounting, and more defined roles for each of us. It was a very long, yet constructive meeting allowing each of us to have a meeting of the minds, if you will, to move forward as a group. No wine for this meeting, but that’s not what we were there for.
So, who are we? We are a group of wine professionals and enthusiasts dedicated to elevating the wine culture in San Antonio. We have seen a need to bring together everyone here in San Antonio that is passionate about wine. We want to allow people to connect with each other, taste (this is not a drinking club), learn, educate, and grow the culture here. We will have public events, guest speakers for our members, scholarships for those seeking professional certifications, and we will lead the way in growing the wine culture here. No longer will San Antonio be overlooked as place where serious wine discussion and events happen.
We meet once a month on the 2nd Thursday at 10:30 A.M. Dues are $20 per month either paid monthly, quarterly, or annually. We are Sommeliers, Restaurant/Bar Managers, Waiters/Waitresses, Bartenders, Chefs, Cooks, Wine Distributors and Reps, Enthusiasts, and others serious about wine. Our goal is to learn from each other each month and be able to spread that knowledge to others. As stated above, we are not a social group getting together to drink wine, but rather learn about wine which includes structured wine tasting.
Our officers are:
Mark V. Fusco, CS, CSW – President
Joe Pat Clayton – Vice President and Co-Founder
Chris Coffland – Secretary
Jena Barker – Treasurer
We look forward putting San Antonio on the Wine Map in Texas. Feel free to contact us below for membership, events, sponsorship, etc. Or just to find out where our next meeting is so that you can see for yourself if this is what you are looking for. The first meeting is free.