Thursday, May 27, 2010

Initiative 1100

Dear FWWS Member,

Family Wineries of Washington State urges you and your winery to support Initiative 1100. With Costco now backing Initiative 1100, we have a real chance to free the grapes (and beer and spirits) in Washington state from unnecessary and counter-productive economic regulation. Passage of Initiative 1100 would require the Liquor Board to focus on public safety and education and get the Liquor Board out of economic activity that should be handled by private enterprise in a free democracy. Polls show that Washington voters overwhelmingly support Initiative 1100. We know some wineries think the laws left over from the repeal of Prohibition provide them with some valuable protections against competition. But the benefits to all (including grape growers, wineries, distributors, retailers and consumers) of implementing a free market in wine (and beer and spirits) in Washington state greatly outweigh the minor benefits of these antiquated “protections.” FWWS has pledged to help Costco and the Initiative drafters, Modernize Washington, gather signatures on the Initiative 1100 petitions. The rest of this message describes how you can help our effort to give Washington The Perfect Legal and Economic Climate for Wine!

The first step to passing Initiative 1100 is gathering at least 250,000 signatures on official Initiative Petition forms by July 6. Costco will gather signatures at its stores, but the wine industry needs to do its part as well. We ask that you accept signatures at your winery tasting room and anywhere else you are likely to meet Washington state registered voters. If you have access to a printer that can print 11"x17" then feel free to print the petition directly from the link below. If you need us to send you petition forms, please let us know as soon as possible how many signatures you estimate your winery could gather in the next month and we will send you the appropriate number of official Initiative 1100 petitions.

FWWS is also seeking monetary contributions for further funding of our Initiative effort. Please let us know by return e-mail if you or your customers are interested in providing financial support to FWWS’s efforts to pass Initiative 1100.

We urge you to do everything you can to support Initiative 1100.

The Board of Family Wineries of Washington State

I-1100 Petition

Tips Regarding Signature Gathering

Monday, May 24, 2010

FWWS 2010 Summer Tasting at Ray's Boathouse Update

Dear FWWS members,

We recently announced the plans for our 2010 FWWS Summer Tasting Event at Ray's Boathouse on beautiful Shilshole Bay in Seattle. This pouring opportunity is open to FWWS members only.

We encourage you to sign up ASAP because the tables are going fast and you don't want to miss this opportunity!

The event will be from 5:30 to 8:30 on Thursday, July 29th. Attendance will be limited to 150 guests. Ray's catering will be providing appetizers to accompany our wines. The entry fee will be $45, which should be an attractive price point. We plan to be pouring wine in our brand new FWWS Riedel tasting glasses which should show your wine at its best. If you have not been there, this is a beautiful venue on one of the statistically best weather days of the year.


Registration will be limited to 24 wineries on a first-come first-served basis. Pouring wine will be donated by the winery. There will be a wine store for wine sales for which you will be paid 70% of your suggested selling price.

One final item, FWWS has purchased event insurance to cover members acting on behalf of the organization. Since pouring will be by members-only this means that no special proof of event insurance will be required from you. We want to point out once again that this insurance in no way takes the place of separate festival liability insurance which is part of your winery liability policy and protects you and your business.

We think this will be a great opportunity for members to show their wines in a very favorable way within this important market. Don't wait to sign up!

Go to this link to sign up now!

The FWWS Board

PS: Please post the details of the event on your calendar of events, e-mails, newsletters, tweets, etc. at your earliest convenience and even if you are unable to attend. This is a fundraiser for FWWS and helps to keep your dues low which we know is important to you. Thanks.

Welcome New Associate Member Hansen & Hansen, LLC

I am pleased to welcome our newest associate member, Hansen & Hansen, LLC to the FWWS. Here is some information on them:

Doc & Sonie Hansen make up Hansen & Hansen LLC. We are winery agents dedicated to promoting small production Washington wineries. We love pouring at festivals and wine events.
We appreciate what FWWS is doing and are pleased to be part of the group. Contact us at hansen-hansen[at]

Welcome to the org!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Initiative 1100

You have probably heard about the various initiatives being proposed to privatize liquor sales in Washington state. Your hard working FWWS Board has been examining all of them and believes that there is one (and only one) which should receive the whole-hearted support of small family wineries: Initiative 1100. This initiative would accomplish much of what FWWS has been fighting for in the legislature. It would require the Liquor Board to focus on public safety and get out of the economy. In addition to privatizing liquor sales, the bill would also remove the economic restraints holding back the Washington beer and wine industries. The other initiatives either do not include wine or would actually be a step in the wrong direction. (There are some who believe that one of the initiatives was secretly drafted by the big beer wholesalers in an effort to confuse the public.) A copy of Initiative 1100 is linked for your review. The best and most important provisions from a winery standpoint are found in sections 6 and 25. Please provide us with your comments and suggestions at your earliest convenience. The initiative process is going to move very quickly. Please let us know if you would like copies of the I-1100 petition so that you can collect signatures from your customers and friends. We urge you to do everything you can to support Initiative 1100 and free the grapes in Washington state!

Initiative Measure No. 1100

Comparison of Liquor Initiatives