Washington state growers recently spoke in favor of stricter rules governing the content of wines billed as Washington products.
Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers Chair Brenton Roy of Oasis Farms (Prosser) and WAWGG Director Todd Newhouse of Upland Vineyards (Outlook) testified on behalf of the association at the meeting.
WAWGG and the Washington Wine Institute are backing the bill, which received first reading by state lawmakers on January 29. The bill seeks to require that Washington wines be made 95% from Washington-grown grapes. Wines bearing labels referencing a specific viticultural area would have to be made 95% from grapes grown within the designated American Viticultural Area.
The rule also would cover wines from AVAs that cross state lines, such as the Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley and Columbia Gorge AVAs, which include both Washington and Oregon vineyards. No less than 95% of grapes used for these wines would need to be from the AVA the label identifies.