Monday, January 31, 2011


  1. FWWS Offered Opportunity for Input on Open Wine Commission Position
  2. All Proposed Bylaws Amendments Approved, Board Positions Open
  3. WSLCB Announces Compliance Checks at Wineries
FWWS Offered Opportunity to Comment on Open Wine Commission Position

Last summer, an FWWS board member contacted State Agriculture Director Dan Newhouse. He was asked whether, in his view, RCW 15.88 allowed for FWWS to make recommendations for his consideration when making Wine Commission appointments. He agreed that it did, but since he was required by the RCW to make recommendations that "seek to ensure as nearly as possible a balanced representation on the commission which would reflect the composition of the growers and wine producers throughout the state as to number of acres cultivated and amount of wine produced," he would have to take into account the level of production represented by FWWS wineries. We hope to meet with Secretary Newhouse this year to discuss our view that the Commission composition, with positions already reserved for large wineries, already accomplishes this. That said, Mr Newhouse's attitude is very open and positive.

Pursuant to these conversations and correspondence, the Agriculture Department has informed us that Position 11 of the Commission is presently open, due to a resignation. RCW 15.88 requires that this position be held by a licensed Washington wine distributor. We need to make recommendations on a replacement candidate by February 3. Please contact us if you have any suggestions as to candidates who you believe have a good understanding of the needs of small and self-distributed wineries with regard to the Commission's work of promoting Washington wine.

All Proposed Bylaws Amendments Approved, Board Positions Open

Thank you all for your responses to the recent bylaws vote. All proposed amendments were approved. With the proposed changes to the board structure, there are currently two Board vacancies. One is for the new "consumer" member and is open to Associate Members. The other is a vacant position open to any voting member of the organization. Please contact the Board if you would like to be considered for election to the board. Please be advised that, since our dues structure does not allow for regular paid staff, this is very much a working position rather than an honorarium or an advisory position, and requires significant attention, time, and willingness to actively participate. Uncle FWWS wants YOU!

WSLCB Announces Compliance Checks at Wineries

Captain Jennifer Dzubay, the chief compliance enforcement officer at the WSLCB, recently announced that the WSLCB will be conducting compliance checks, with an emphasis on winery and brewery premises, over the coming months. FWWS has consistently supported the notion that the WSLCB should focus its limited resources on enforcement and education relating to public safety goals, into which category this compliance focus clearly falls.

While you are not required to obtain Mandatory Alcohol Server Training (MAST) permits for your on-premise tasting room staff (Note: MAST permits are required for off-premise tasting room staff!), we strongly encourage you and all of your staff to participate in MAST training. Captain Dzubay's email follows in its entirety:

From: Dzubay, Jennifer
Sent: Friday, January 21, 2011 3:55 PM
Subject: WSLCB - Compliance Checks Announcement

Please be advised that for the next two months we will be conducting Compliance Checks at winery and brewery premises. All compliance checks will be conducted with a youthful-appearing minor operative, ages 18 to 20 years of age, using their valid WA state drivers license.

We conducted this last summer and had a 46% non-compliance rate. We hope through our educational efforts, whether it is the MAST program or the responsible sales video, that we see an increase in the compliance rate this year.

As an educational tool, I'm enclosing a copy of Checking WA State ID, as well as a link below with a short little video on Responsible Liquor Sales.

We encourage you and your employees to review the enclosed material to help educate and prepare yourselves for these checks. If you have additional questions, please contact your local Liquor Officer for clarification.

Thank you!

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