Washington Wine Seminar

On August 9, 2013, we attended the Annual Wine Law Seminar in Walla Walla, Washington. It was fascinating to see how Walla Walla has capitalized on the wine business to promote tourism and inspiring to learn of the growth of the wine industry in the state of Washington. Walla Walla’s historic downtown is home to nearly 30 tasting rooms representing wineries throughout the region. There’s a large concentration of tasting rooms within four blocks of Second Avenue and Main Street. Downtown has really been revitalized!

Seminar topics this year included the metrics and financing of vineyards and wineries; legal traps for the unwary in opening and operating wineries and tasting rooms; the top five key issues for grape growers; the growing importance of trademark and other intellectual property protections as well as a discussion of regulatory issues impacting the wine industry.

There was also an update on a proposed new American AVA for the Milton Freewater area; the growth of wineries and vineyards in the Walla Walla AVA, the issues involved with selling wine in British Columbia, and the increasing recognition of Washington wines worldwide. All in all, it was a very informative conference and optimistic assessment of the prospects for the wine industry in Washington.