Wines & Vines Home
   
 
Welcome Guest
LOGIN |  CREATE ACCOUNT
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 
 
 
02.24.2010  
 

Wine Tasting at Farmers Markets?

Washington state looks likely to launch pilot program this year

 
by Peter Mitham
 
 
Washington farmers markets
 
Shoppers at some of Washington's many farmers markets may soon be able to sample locally produced wines before purchasing them.
 
Olympia, Wash. -- Up to 20 wineries could be allowed to pour their wines at Washington state farmers markets under a pilot program lawmakers here will consider this Friday.

The bill received house approval Feb. 15 and will come before state senators Friday. It provides a framework that will allow up to 20 wineries to offer tastings at 10 farmers markets between July 1, 2010, and Sept. 30, 2011. The program mandates at least six days of tastings, under strict conditions including,

• Samples must be 2 ounces or less, up to a total of 4 ounces per customer;
• No more than one sample of any single brand may be served during a visit;
• Food must be available at the winery’s table or at an adjacent vendor’s table.

“It’s to get your alcohol out there in the community, so you can do some tasting,” Jennifer Skoda, an enforcement officer with the Washington State Liquor Control Board, told those attending the Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers conference in Kennewick earlier this month.

Chances are good the bill will achieve just that, given a positive recommendation in a legislative staff report.

The sole objection to the pilot program came from Seth Dawson and Jim Cooper of the Washington Association for Substance Abuse Prevention, who feel it would boost the casual use of alcohol in a state that has no comprehensive education program for youths regarding the effects of alcohol consumption. Pointing to infractions of state liquor regulations during the pilot of supermarket tastings (there were just three instances, a rate not deemed extraordinary), the association urged greater funding for monitoring of compliance.

On the other hand, legislative staff summarized the association’s opinion that the bill was the best expression of a bad initiative: “We don't really like the bill, but if it has to happen, it couldn't get much better than this.”

Meanwhile, state farmers market associations applaud the move as complementing existing legislation that kicked in six years ago to allow the sale of wine at farmers markets. Those sales have languished because sampling isn’t allowed, the associations contend, noting that just 12 wineries have offered their wines at the markets.

“This bill will allow the vintners and brewers to market and sell their product more than they can now, because people will be able to sample the product,” said the staff summary of comments. “Taste is everything. People don't want to part with their money when they don't know what something tastes like.”

Walla Walla winemaker Marty Clubb told Wines & Vines the tastings will help the markets become an important alternative for the state’s smaller wineries. He estimated that some 70% move most of their wines through direct sales.

washington farmers markets
 
Martin Clubb, winemaker at Walla Walla's L'Ecole No. 41, feels the move would benefit the estimated 70% of Washington wineries that rely on direct-to-consumer sales. Photo by Kirk Hirota

“Having more opportunities, like a farmers market deal is a good idea,” said Clubb, who operates L’Ecole No. 41 with his wife Megan, and serves as president of the Washington Wine Institute, which supports the initiative. “The channels for selling wine through traditional methods have shrunk, particularly in the kind of economy we’ve been in the last couple of years. And yet the number of brands and small wineries continues to proliferate.”

The initiative builds on a successful supermarket tasting pilot in 2008 and 2009 (see “Washington Warms to Supermarket Tastings.”) The program garnered approval from the state house this month and is poised to become a permanent element of supermarket wine promotions.

“It’s kind of following in the footsteps of the grocery stores,” said Jean Leonard, executive director of the Washington Wine Institute said of the market tastings, noting that it’s part of what’s proving to be a busy but effective session for the institute. “We’re very pleased with the targeted, specific agenda, and so far are being very successful.”

The legislation enabling the pilot program runs through Dec. 1, 2011, by which date WSLCB staff must report on the program’s results to state legislators.

 

 

SHARE »
Close
 
Currently no comments posted for this article.
 
CURRENT NEWS INDEX »


 
Wines & Vines Home
 
866.453.9701 | 415.453.9700 | Fax: 415.453.2517
65 Mitchell Blvd., Ste. A San Rafael, CA 94903
info@winesandvines.com
Wine Industry Metrics
 
Off-Premise Sales » Month   12 Months  
July 2014 $557 million
5%
$7,577 million
6%
July 2013 $533 million $7,128 million
     
Direct-to-Consumer Shipments » Month   12 Months  
July 2014 $61 million
9%
$1,674 million
10%
July 2013 $56 million $1,517 million
     
Winery Job Index » Month   12 Months  
July 2014 312
10%
222
19%
July 2013 283 187
     
 
MORE » Released on 08.15.2014
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Practical Winery & Vineyard Library
 
Search the PWV archive »
 
 

Direct To Consumer
Wine Shipping Report
2014
 
Download full report »
 
 

CALENDAR
  • September 5-6
     
    Windy City Wine Festival
     
  • September 11
     
    Women for WineSense "Women in Wine"
     
  • September 12
     
    Direct to Consumer Wine Sales
     
  • September 18-21
     
    Euphoria
     
  • MORE »
 

READER COMMENTS
 
Article: Ledger David names first winemaker »
 
What a joy to have Kiley on the team! A lot of exciting things happening...
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Useful Spanish for Wine Harvest »
 
you misspelled "zona" under Loading Area
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Early 2014 Grape Harvest Begins »
 
Thanks for mentioning Temecula and the South Coast appellation in your article. It is great...
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Wineries May Lose Internet Domain Dispute »
 
All these arguments could be levied by any industry associated with any gTLD, new or...
Reader: Doug Barnett
 
Article: Wineries May Lose Internet Domain Dispute »
 
Do brands get hijacked now? Even though .wine does not yet exist, are there false...
Reader: Larry Chandler
 
 


Directory/Buyer's Guide — Your Wine Industry Marketplace
 
 
WINERY SEARCH
 
 
Advanced Search »
SUPPLIER SEARCH
   by Product
 by Company Name or Brand
 
Browse by Category »
2014 Directory/Buyer's Guide
The Wines & Vines Directory and Buyer's Guide
 
 
EXPANDED ONLINE SEARCH INCLUDED WITH PURCHASE
 
ORDER NOW »
 
LEARN MORE »
 
 
Wines & Vines Magazine
 
 
LEARN MORE »
 
SUBSCRIBE »
 
Digital Edition Now Available!
Wines & Vines Digital Edition Now Available
 
LEARN MORE »
 
ORDER NOW »
 
 
The Wines & Vines Online Marketing System
 
The Industry Standard winery marketing application
 
FREE LIVE DEMO »
 
VIEW VIDEO »
 
 
 
 
Latest Job Listings
 Outbound Phone Sales P...
 Dundee, OR
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 General Manager
 Napa, CA
General Administration and
 Hip Winery Seeks Bar M...
 Denver, CO
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Harvest Lab Intern
 Napa, CA
Winemaking and Production
 Paid Harvest-Winery In...
 Sacramento, CA
Winemaking and Production
 Wine Sales Rep/Broker
 Multiple Territories, CA
Sales and Marketing
 Harvest Cellar Worker
 Sonoma, CA
Winemaking and Production
 Cellar/Vineyard Worker
 Angwin, CA
Winemaking and Production
 Assistant Winemaker
 Marydel, PA
Winemaking and Production
 Sales Consultant
 Ny, NY
Sales and Marketing
 
More Job Listings >>
Follow Us On:
 
 





Home  |  About Us  |  Editors  |  Subscribe  |  Print Edition  |  Digital Edition

Advertise  |  Site Map  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy
 
 
Copyright © 2001-2014 by Wine Communications Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
No material may be reproduced without written permission of the Publisher.
Wines&Vines does not assume any responsibility for any unsolicited manuscripts or materials.