Friday, January 24, 2014

Celebrate the finer things in life!

Enumclaw Wine and Chocolate Festival 2014

MUST BE 21 or OLDER to attend this event!

February 7th, 2014 4:00 PM - 10:00 PM
February 8th, 2014 2:00 PM - 10:00 PM

Expo Center 45224  284th Ave SE – Enumclaw, WA

$15 Pre-Sale Tickets for 2014 are available NOW! Click Here

Tickets at the door will be $20

Last year we exceeded our capacity so tickets this year will be limited.

All tickets are good for two day admission and include one Riedel wine glass and two wine tasting tickets.      

2014 will feature 24 fine wineries from around Washington State with up to 80 unique wines to taste, over a dozen chocolatiers, many gift and specialties items. Enjoy two days of wine tasting, chocolate sampling, demonstrations, music, entertainment, shopping and  more. Every  guest will receive a commemorative wine glass and wine tastings scrips. Dinner and appetizers will available from a local favorite caterer. Truly a weekend to remember!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Press Release for FWWS Growler Bill

Dear FWWS Member,

The following press release was sent to various Washington Media outlets this past week.  We are further pleased to announce that Representative Sharon Wylie of  Vancouver has agreed to be prime sponsor of this bill in the state House of Representatives.

Please link this post to social media and forward it to any of your many customers that will be excited to see wine growlers come to the wider Washington market.

Your FWWS Board


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

PROPOSED BILL WOULD ALLOW WINE SALES IN GROWLERS

(Olympia, WA December 11th, 2013)

If a proposal by the advocacy group Family Wineries of Washington State becomes law next year consumers would be able to fill customer owned containers, or “growlers,”  with wine anywhere in Washington that beer can presently be sold in that format.

“It’s high time that Washington consumers were able to use this wildly popular and environmentally friendly concept.” said Paul Beveridge, winemaker and President of the group, adding that “Studies have shown that roughly sixty five percent of a winery’s carbon footprint is due to the glass packaging.”

In addition to specialty beer and wine shops, taverns and restaurants, refilling wine in growlers would also be allowed at winery “additional tasting rooms” of the type that many Eastern Washington wineries now operate in Woodinville. Beer sales would also be allowed in such tasting rooms as well as beer growler sales.  Similarly breweries and microbreweries would be allowed to sell wine in order that they might be added to the list of places that wine in growlers could be purchased.

Beveridge noted that consumers in Europe have purchased wine this way for decades and that consumers in some other states are gaining the same privilege. “Just this year the Oregon Legislature unanimously passed a similar bill which Governor Kitzhaber signed into law” said Beveridge.

Under the Washington State Liquor Control Board’s interpretation of state law, a change would be required to create a specific allowance for selling wine in refillable growlers.  In order to effect that change, Family Wineries of Washington State ran this bill in the regular 2013 legislative session, but confusion on the part of some industry stakeholders about whether the process was legal under federal law de-railed the bill.  Beveridge’s group has since sought and received written clarification from federal regulators that, with proper labeling and licensing, the concept is legal.

A peculiarity of federal law requires that any person “re-packaging” wine, unlike beer, must have a federal license. Current Guidance from the federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) interprets filling of growlers to be repackaging. This is why it’s possible to have a growler filled at a winery but not a wine shop. This guidance has been in place since the 1970’s when the wine growler concept was not much in the public eye.  “We hope, and have reason to believe that the TTB might change their guidance and agree with us that this increasingly popular process is simply retailing, not repackaging” Beveridge said. “Until then the federal licensing requirement is certainly workable, if cumbersome.”

Family Wineries of Washington State is a business league promoting member wineries and advocating for streamlined regulation and freedom of marketing for small Washington wineries. ###


Paul Beveridge, Board President

(206)325-3051

(206)-850-2098

board@familywineriesofWashington.org

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

RAY'S BOATHOUSE EVENT, NOVEMBER 6TH

Please Join FWWS for a harvest celebration and evening of great food and wine. 

When: Wednesday, November 6th, 6:00 9:00

Where: Ray's Boathouse Northwest Room. 6049 Seaview Avenue NW, Seattle (at Shilshole Bay)

Tickets: $55. Go to: fwws.eventbrite.com  Includes food, wine, Washington State sales tax, Riedel crystal tasting glass and all the fun you can handle.

Join 19 artisan wineries in a post-harvest celebration at famous Ray's boathouse on Shilshole bay.  Enjoy Fine wine, great food and great company.  An amazing array of silent auction items will be available to the very select bidder pool in attendance. Come join us and celebrate the 2013 vintage!


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Important Changes to Wine Label Regulations

Dear FWWS Member

Many of you may already be aware of a recent TTB circular regarding liberalization of label approval guidelines.  However, based on conversations with TTB staff and member wineries, we believe this TTB circular is important enough, and was missed by enough people, to be worth re-visiting.  It’s not every day that a government agency takes action to significantly reduce the reach of regulatory requirements and this effort is both commendable and worth highlighting.

Here are just a few of many changes to labels that now are allowed without submittal of a new Certificate of Label Approval (COLA) application:

1)       Changing the alcohol content across the 14% alcohol tax class threshold (particularly important for those of us who haven’t yet labeled our reds from the cool, low alcohol 2011 vintage)
 
2)       Changing font styles, background colors, label shape, and label media (for example from adhesive backed to screen printed on the bottle)
 
3)       Deleting any non-mandatory information.
 
4)       Adding, changing or deleting web site addresses, UPC symbols or QR codes (Note: Please read our upcoming blog posting on TTB advertising requirements as regards QR codes and website references)
 
has a nice graphic showing some changes to sample labels that are now allowable.  There is also a concise table that will further clarify label requirements.

The full text of TTB circular 2012-2, together with its embedded links can be found at this link:  http://www.ttb.gov/labeling/ttb-g2012-2-updated-cola-form-allowable-revisions.pdf
                  
This is good news! We urge all of you to read the full TTB industry circular or, at the very least, to take five minutes to read the overview of changes at the first link above.  The first link has a printer friendly version available and is concise enough to use as a quick reference guide.

These changes are material, substantial, and positive, and not only increase stylistic flexibility for wineries but will also significantly reduce the need to re-submit COLA applications for existing wines.

Your FWWS Board

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Wine Commission Openings

Dear FWWS Member,

There are currently two open positions on the Washington Wine Commission, these being positions two and four. Both of these positions must be held by wine producers, one of which must represent a winery producing less than 25,000 gallons of wine annually. Position two is currently held by John Bookwalter, and position four by Chris Sparkman. Mr. Bookwalter is not seeking another term.

I accordance with RCW 15.88, the State Director of Agriculture appoints the members of the Washington Wine Commission. The Agriculture Director is currently seeking nominees to fill these positions and has specifically requested input from FWWS in that regard. If you would like an endorsement by FWWS for nomination to either position, please send a short email to the FWWS board with the following:
  • Your contact information
  • A brief description of our background in the Washington Wine Industry including the name, location and current annual production of your winery in gallons,
  • A brief outline of your background including any aspects of your professional or community service history together with any other pertinent facts you would like considered such as public relations and leadership skills.
FWWS must make recommendations to the Agriculture Director by Friday May 10. If you wish to seek an endorsement from FWWS for your candidacy for either of these positions, please respond with the requested information no later than Monday, May 6th.

Thank you,

The FWWS Board