Skip to content

January 2024 Grape Post Newsletter

Executive Director's Note

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to all our members. Your dedication and support are instrumental, and your commitment propels our mission and enables continued accomplishments for the Washington Winegrowers Association.

Thank you for supporting Washington Winegrowers Association in 2023. You empower Winegrowers to advocate and influence state and federal policy of relevance to the Washington wine industry, and you provide for essential member and public outreach and education, such as the Latino Ag Education Program, the Sustainable WA certification program, and our annual WineVit® conference and trade show.

Last year we:

  • Gathered industry leaders for direction and issue prioritization
  • Shared wine industry trends to inform your decision-making
  • Promoted and supported research and science in grapes and wine
  • Hosted viticulture and enology educational events—including the Latino Ag Education Program and events in Spanish—to help you optimize your business
  • Offered tasting room training
  • Tracked, advocated for and influenced state and federal regulations and legislation impacting your business
  • Hosted the annual WineVit® Convention and Trade Show, providing exceptional educational and networking opportunities across the industry
  • Secured funding for smoke exposure research and disaster assistance
  • Facilitated connections between vineyard managers, university extension agents and WSDA
  • Offered wine and grape dating service to help you connect and network with buyers and sellers
  • Facilitated service and supplier engagement to help you maximize relationships and stay on top of new industry innovations

You are a vital part of Washington Winegrowers Association, and your membership makes all the difference. Renew your 2024 membership to ensure that the Washington wine industry remains thriving, sustainable, and globally-distinguished!

You can renew your membership by visiting our website at If you need help, email or call our office and the Winegrowers team can assist you (; 509-782-8234).

Thank you for your support and continued membership!

Annual Member Meeting Wrap-Up

Ever flexible and willing to shift with Mother Nature (and travel across Washington’s mountain passes in the wintertime), our annual member meeting transferred to an exclusively virtual meeting on January 17, 2024. Thank you to all who attended the annual member meeting, and also to those who voted in advance via electronic ballot.

During the annual member meeting, Winegrowers reviewed highlights of 2023 as a dynamic year where the organization and its members were able to adapt, improvise, and overcome challenges in the continued pursuit of advocacy and education for our Washington wine industry. 2023 saw a tremendous milestone with the first certified Sustainable WA wines out in the world! This was especially hopeful as it highlights a commitment by growers to invest in showcasing the sustainability of our Washington wines.

The incumbent candidates were elected for renewal terms on the Board of Directors, and the 2024 Board members were announced.

2024 Board of Directors:
Jeff Andrews
Andrews Family Vineyards, Prosser

Freddy Arredondo
Cave B Estate Winery, Quincy

Steele Brown
Golden West Vineyards, Royal City

Shane Collins
Fielding Hills Winery, Chelan

Becca De Kleine
Four Feathers Wine Estates, Prosser

John Derrick
Mercer Ranches Inc, Prosser

Mike Means
Ste Michelle Wine Estates, Paterson

Patrick Rawn
Two Mountain Winery, Zillah

Dustin Tobin
Precept Wine Brands, Prosser
Scott Williams
Kiona Vineyards, Benton City

Winegrowers also shared its focus for 2024 priorities in government affairs, education and programming, member and industry engagement, and sustainability. The Latino Ag Education Program, Sustainable WA certification program, and WineVit® conference and trade show will continue in emphasis for 2024.

Washington Winegrowers Association is here to lead our industry as we engage in further
collaboration, innovation and creative thinking to seize opportunities presented with the industry changes before us, and to help shape the future of the Washington wine industry.

Reach out to Executive Director Colleen Frei ( to share your feedback and how Winegrowers can continue to best serve its members.

Advocacy Update: Winegrowers in Olympia

Uncover the determined efforts of Washington Winegrowers Association in Olympia and learn about the Association's adept navigation through complex legislative processes, presenting a unified voice for its members and advocating for the Washington wine industry.

Seeding the Future: Legislative Advances and Youth Engagement in Washington's Wine Industry

Delving into the dynamic fusion of youth vigor and legislative evolution, this article unveils how Washington's wine future is being shaped by young minds and forward-thinking policies.

New Wildfire Smoke Regulations for Washington State Going Into Effect

Learn about Washington State's new year-round wildfire smoke regulations, a significant update
for regulations on the safety of vineyard workers, and their implications for vineyard employers.

WA Department of Ecology's Proposed Revisions to the Winery Waste Discharge General Permit

The Department of Ecology's proposal to reissue the Winery State Waste Discharge General Permit is set to impact larger wineries in Washington. The article outlines the revisions, their implications, and the importance of industry engagement.

The Upcoming Farm Bill: Implications for Washington Winegrowers

Peek into the corridors of power in D.C., where the Farm Bill's fate hangs in balance, carrying significant implications for Washington's wine industry. Discover how the pending Farm Bill, with its focus on modern agricultural practices and sustainability, is set to influence the Washington wine industry's future.

Uncorking Potential, Untangling Barriers: Congress Takes Aim at Wine Tariffs

Engage with the strategic moves by Congress to dismantle barriers in international wine trade, opening doors to global success for Washington's vintners.

Legislative Update

Learn how federal delays are affecting federal appropriations and the Farm Bill in fiscal years 2024 and 2025.

WineVit® 2024: Know Before You Go

WineVit® 2024 Convention and Trade Show on February 5-7, 2024, at the Three Rivers Convention Center in Kennewick, WA.

We are less than a week from WineVit® 2024, our annual three-day wine industry educational and networking extravaganza. WineVit® serves as the epicenter for winegrape growers, vintners, and industry professionals. The event features a dynamic trade show with over 150 exhibitors, poster session spotlighting the latest industry research, thought-provoking 'State of the Industry' session, and multi-faceted educational sessions delving into topics such as sustainability, vineyard and winery efficiencies, and tasting room session.

Below are details on what to expect each day.

Monday, February 5
Beat the crowd at registration. Stop by registration starting at 8:00am to check in early. We kick off sessions at 9:15am with The Next Generation of Wine: A Future of Possibilities. Following is the Leadership & Legacy Luncheon at 11:00am where amazing industry members will be celebrated. Sessions on marketing Washington wine (Reimagining Your Customer Experience) and pesticide applications (Getting Every Drop to the Crop: Tools and Technologies for Precision Spray Applications) at 1:00pm. The Industry Research Snapshot and presentations by poster authors is at 3:15pm. The afternoon continues at 4:30pm with the Industry Networking Experience with Student Winemakers for employers, prospective employees and interns, and
educational institutions.
More details on everything happening Monday can be viewed here:

Tuesday, February 6
Registration opens at 7:00am. The day begins with the State of the Industry session at 8:00am. Educational sessions include Sustainable WA at 10:15am, Emerging Trends in Wine Closures: A risk-based approach for choosing the correct closure at 1:15pm, and Impacts of Vineyard Heat Stress and Mitigation Tools in the Vineyard and Winery at 1:45pm. Tuesday also kicks off the Trade Show at 10:00am, including a walking lunch at 11:45am and a networking social at 3:15pm. In the evening, the party keeps going at the Washington Wine Industry Foundation’s Party + Auction! This annual friendraising event features live music, great food, and amazing auction items.
To learn more about Tuesday’s activities, check out:

Wednesday, February 7
Registration opens at 7:00am. To start the day, Todas las Cosas de la Viticultura session begins at 8:00am and the session Wine Compliance and Story-telling for Winemakers is at 8:30am. The Grand Tasting Session with a focus on contemporary wines, classic grapes and exploring niche wine styles from Washington state is at 10:30am. Sessions on Cost of Production Calculators at 2:00pm, Launching the New WSU V&E Curriculum at 2:15pm, and To the Root of Grafted Vineyard Management at 3:00pm. Visit the Trade Show throughout the day from 10:00am-4:00pm, with a walking lunch at noon and trade show flash talks at 12:45pm.
The schedule for Wednesday can be found here:

Register today for WineVit® at

Looking to get even more involved? Be a sponsor! Check out
For more information or if you need help with WineVit® registration or sponsorship, email or call our office and the Winegrowers team can assist you (; 509-782-8234).

Scroll To Top