Month: February 2018

Note From WWI’s Executive Director

Welcome to our new Washington Wine Institute website!!! We are elated to finally unveil our new website built specifically to provide every WWI member with access to an extensive level of resources and a streamlined, modern-day approach to providing the tools and information needed to keep our members up-to-date with all the work WWI doing on your behalf. From a easy, streamlines approach to accessing education and permits, to a simple membership renewal process and sign up for money saving and operational improving programs WWI offers, we hope you take some time to explore the new site and learn how this tool can be a one-stop-shop for industry news, permits, licenses, FAQ’s, and ways to save your winery time and money. We will continue improve the site over time and welcome your feedback! Cheers, Josh

Need Help Thinking Through Your Music Licensing Options? WWI Can Help!

Do you have live and/or streaming music in your winery or tasting room? Have you been contacted by one or multiple music licensing agencies (BMI/ASCAP/SESAC) recently requesting that you purchase a license?


The world of music licensing is complicated and knowing if you need a music license is not simple nor straightforward. To make matters worse, the three national music licensing companies that own rights to all copyrighted music are communicating with our wineries in a very aggressive, negative manner that often ends with anger and frustration for all parties.


Recognizing that every member deserves to have a strong, dedicated resource helping them navigate the complexities of music licensing, WWI’s staff has become educated on the ins-and-outs of this issue and so far helped many wineries over the past year understand what they do (and equally importantly what they do not) need to do to make sure they are in compliance with federal copyright law.


So, if you have live and/or streaming/recorded music playing in your winery or tasting room and would like to make sure you are fully educated on how music licensing works and what you need/do not need in this arena, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Additionally, if you are contacted by any of these companies, do not hesitate to reach out to us and become educated so you do not allow them to intimidate or push you into purchasing licenses you may not need. Simply contact WWI at


Note: WWI does not provide legal guidance. However, we are happy to provide a list of local attorneys that may be able to assist you if you feel a legal interpretation of your music licensing situation is necessary.

CDL Exemption For Wineries

In 2015 WWI worked with the Washington State Department of Licensing and the Washington State Patrol to come to an agreement that winery owners and their employees fall under the federal definition of “farmer” and therefore do not need to have a Commercial Drivers License while hauling their own grapes from vineyard to winery. Some important qualifications to this agreement are that wineries must still obey all traffic laws including not surpassing the 26,000 lbs maximum limit allowed as well as being a safe driver at all times.

If you are a current WWI member and would like us to send you the documentation we’ve created that will help you understand your rights under this exemption and how to talk to a State Trooper or other type of officer if pulled over, please send us an email at