Friday, August 20, 2010

E-mail, Facebook, and Twitter Updates

Attention wine geeks!

Our org would love to stay in touch with you. But we also value your privacy. So we have created a variety of ways you can get updates from our org:

Family Wineries of Washington State News E-mail

This e-mail service is opt-in only. That means we don’t sign you up, you need to sign-up yourself. That way we can guarantee you don’t end up receiving these e-mails when you don’t want to. In addition, this list allows safe unsubscribing at any time after joining.


Visit our Facebook page and “like” us! Our blog also feeds our Facebook page so you can read the latest info about our org.


Follow us on Twitter and receive all the latest news on your mobile device.

We hope you sign-up and enjoy the updates!

2010 TTB Compliance Seminar for Bonded Wine Premises Handout Packet

The 2010 TTB Compliance Seminar for Bonded Wine Premises handout packet is now available.

Of special interest are Common Compliance Concerns detailed on pages 168-169. Here are some samples:
  • Inadequate bond coverage
  • Unauthorized distilled spirits or brewing operations take place on wine premises
  • Amount removed in each tax class is not totaled on taxable removal record
  • Insufficient evidence of removals for tasting, testing, and breakage
  • Taxes paid do not match the taxable removals shown on Form 5120.17
  • COLAs don't match the labels
  • Records relating to receipt and use of spirits are insufficient
  • Bottled wine shortages were not taxpaid
Take the time to review the packet and get up-to-date.

Yes to 1100!

Check out the new pages for Yes to 1100



Please visit the sites and take advantage of the plethora of useful information WRT to I-1100.

Vote YES on 1100!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I-1100 Just Makes Sense

Washington state should not be in the liquor business. Rather than promoting alcohol sales the state should make enforcement its primary mission. The Liquor Control Board has been blinded by the money and it needs to get back to basics and put its full energy behind enforcement. Controlling teenage drinking will not be a problem if the state just does its job.

I-1100 is the responsible way to take the state out of the liquor business. It leaves the taxes in place but it ends the monopolistic practice of the state charging an obscene 51.9% mark-up on a bottle of liquor on top of the highest liquor tax in the nation.

I-1100 is about convenience. Especially for people who are only occasional purchasers of alcohol. It is incredibly inconvenient to, after going to the grocery store to shop for a special event, make an extra stop at some out-of-the-way strip mall to shop at a state liquor store. The limited hours of operation are a real problem in our active world.

I-1100 reduces the head count of state workers while creating hundreds of new jobs in the private sector.

Remember to vote YES on 1100 and NO on 1105!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

WA State Winery Data 2009

This is a follow-up to our popular previous blog post on 2008 WA winery data. Our previous blog post detailed and charted interesting winery data from 2008. Well, here's the data from 2009! Our analysis of the data was identical to the 2008 analysis. Here we go...

Distribution of Wineries by Gallons Sold

What we did was break down production into 6 different categories. Each category is basically a range of annual gallons produced. We then figured out how many wineries fall into each category.

Distribution of Wineries by "Craft" Designation

We have been using the term "craft winery" to identify wineries that produce less than 25,000 gallons per year. This is also a requirement to be eligible as a full regular member of the FWWS. Here's how wineries in WA state break down by whether or not they are a "craft" winery.

Actual Gallons Sold by "Craft" Winery Threshold

OK, so now we know how many wineries in WA state would be considered a "craft" winery. The following data and graph show you how many actual gallons of wine are produced annually by craft wineries versus non-craft wineries.


So there you have it: 94.04% of the wineries in WA state would be considered a "craft" winery, a little bit more than in 2008. A general trend continues: the other 6% of the wineries (non-craft wineries) produce about 93% of the actual gallons per year. And once again, 1 winery tops the scale at producing 13 million gals. annually. The next biggest winery only produces approximately 1.1 millions gals. annually. Finally, the total number of wineries grew from 547 to 671.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Response to WA Wine Institute’s Anti-I-1100 Misstatements

Recently, the WA Wine Institute’s views about Initiative 1100 were circulated to our state’s wineries and vineyards and suggested that the proposed new law would be detrimental to the Washington wine industry.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Passage of I-1100 will be the greatest legal development for the Washington wine industry since the repeal of Prohibition. The WWI’s arguments are based on keeping control of the industry in the hands of the established producers and large distributors – not in the hands of the rest of us in the wine business. We at Family Wineries of Washington State find the WWI’s stance counter-productive to free and fair competition – and we lose in the process. The WWI wants to keep existing so called “protections” against credit and discounts that limit the growth of the Washington wine industry and punish wine consumers (our customers) with lower quality, higher prices and poorer selection. Support the public’s right to choose what is best for them over narrow special interests. Vote for wine freedom by voting for I-1100.

And what about Initiative 1105, which is sponsored by two huge out of state distributors?

The WWI is silent about 1105 even though it would send the Washington wine industry back to the dark ages. I- 1105 expands big distributor monopoly power and repeals many of the gains achieved over the past fifty years. Don’t let big distributors and a few wineries that are doing well under the current system foil the best chance we have to free the grapes (and breweries and distilleries) in Washington State from unjust and unfair laws.

Remember, YES on 1100; NO on 1105! Support economic growth and wine consumers instead of special interests.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

I-1100 Brings Common Sense to Liquor Laws

An excellent editorial from "Puget Sound Business Journal" with regards to 1100.

Remember to vote YES on 1100 and NO on 1105!

Sad News - John Powers from Chuckanut Ridge Wine Company Passed Away

We are sad to report a death in the wine industry, John Powers from Chuckanut Ridge Wine Company has passed away.

You can find details about the event celebrating John's life at

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Ray's 2010 Summer Tasting Photos

The photos from the Ray's Summer tasting are now available on our site at

We have some great pics of the winemakers, the venue, and some wonderful guest portraits and candids. Visit the photos and see if you can find yourself! Feel free to download the images and to share with your friends.

To all the guests who visited, thanks very much for supporting our org, we hope you had a great time, and we would love to see you at our next event.

Monday, August 2, 2010

HR 5034 and the Consequences

No Wine Shall Be Served Before Its Time - At Least Not Without Wholesalers Taking a Cut

An excellent analysis of the economic issues.

Sadly, HR 5034 is backed by the same huge beer distributors who oppose Initiative 1100 in Washington State and sponsor Initiative 1105. Remember to vote YES on 1100 and NO on 1105!

Welcome New Member Convergence Zone Cellars

I am pleased to welcome our newest member, Convergence Zone Cellars, to the FWWS. Here is some information on them:

Where two prevailing flows meet & interact, resulting in distinctive weather conditions.

A new Washington State winery where red grape varietals meet and interact, resulting in distinctive, handcrafted wines.

Welcome to the org!