Washington Wine Institute D.C. Fly In: WineAmerica 2024 D.C. Policy Conference

From May 6th-8th WWI’s Executive Director Josh McDonald, Vice President of our Board of Directors and co-owner of Fortuity Cellars Emily Fergestrom, and COO of L’Ecole No 41 Ryan Pennington joined WineAmerica and 45 other wine-producing states for our annual trip to Washington D.C. to meet with our WA Congressional delegation, House and Senate committees’ staff and leadership, and federal agencies such as the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) that make decisions and have regulatory authority over the wine industry. Our WA wine group grew in size and strength with several members of the WA Winegrowers Association also flying in to help us speak as one united front for the WA wine industry.

Pictured: Congressman Kilmer and Newhouse meet with Washington wine advocates from WWI, Winegrowers, and more.

For our three days in D.C. we spent a majority of the time lobbying our entire Congressional delegation, TTB, and major players in Congress on several federal issues we are helping lead on for WA wine such as The Farm Bill (MAP funding, research funding, specialty crop block grants, and more), nutritional labeling, ingredient labeling, USPS wine shipping, USDA guidelines on safe levels of alcohol consumption, and more. We were the only state to meet with all 12 of our delegation including face-to-face meetings with both our powerful U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray. We are hopeful our advocacy efforts made a meaningful difference in getting positive outcomes on all of these critical issues for the WA wine industry!