Fall 2014: Membership Conference – Walla Walla, WA

WineAmerica Announces Hiring of New Government Affairs Firm

October 26-28, 2014

WineAmerica, the National Association of American Wineries held its annual Board Meeting and Membership Conference in Walla Walla, Washington late last month. In contrast with the Wine and Grape Policy Conference, held in Washington, DC each Spring, the Fall Board Meeting is held in a distinct American wine region. Working with our local partner, the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance, the Board Meeting was held at the historic Marcus Whitman Hotel in downtown Walla Walla.

The first day of the meeting included the State and Regional Association Advisory Council (SRAAC) meeting, as well as a meeting of the WineAmerica Board of Directors. Industry leaders from 14 states were present to plan the future for WineAmerica.

The SRAAC meeting featured a roundtable update from each member present focusing on their particular state. Additionally, the Council focused on its plan for recruitment of more associations in 2015, with a focus on recruiting more regional associations moving forward.

The keynote lunch speaker was Sharon Foster, Chair of the Washington State Liquor Control Board. She gave an informative and illuminating speech about the impact of the legalization of marijuana in Washington State, and its impact on the wine industry in the state.

The WineAmerica Board meeting in the afternoon focused on all of the positive changes that have been enacted since restructuring in the Spring.  The final step in the reorganization was the retention of a government affairs firm to represent WineAmerica in Washington, DC. The hiring of the government affairs firm Meyers and Associates was announced and approved by the Board. The afternoon wrapped up with a spirited tasting of local wines and a trip to L’Ecole N0. 41 winery for a wine dinner.

The second day of the conference featured a joint lunch with the Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers and visits to local wineries in Walla Walla.

The Wine and Grape Policy Conference will be held in Washington, DC from April 13-15, 2015.