The Orange County Wine Society was established in 1976 due to the efforts of Brad Horton, an Orange County wine retailer. The concept was a simple one: each year only certain varietals would be judged according to consumer price catagories--inexpensive, moderate, and premium. All wines would have to be commerically available in Orange County, and all wines within the selected varietal would be judged. The first judging was held in 1977, and the event has grown ever since. In 1980, the OCWS was incorporated and granted tax-exempt status, allowing it to be recognized as an educational, non-profit organization.
It is the desire of the Orange County Wine Society to fund a scholarship for one man and one woman studying enology.