Washington wineries are asking state lawmakers to include them in farmers' markets. A new bill in Olympia would allow wineries to give small sips of their libations at markets in a pilot program. Anna King reports.
This is not your big chance to guzzle free wine. It's only a tasty 2-ounce pour. But Washington wineries say that is enough to get their products in front of new customers and possibly make a sale.
Last year, lawmakers approved a similar pilot program for wine tasting in grocery stores.
That program was deemed a success by both the Washington wine industry and the Liquor Control Board.
Marty Clubb says adding farmers' markets too would be a boon to family-owned Washington wineries.
He's a Walla Walla winemaker and the president of the Washington Wine Institute, a lobbying group.
Marty Clubb: "In today's marketplace we're basically looking for as many channels as exposure as possible. So the farmers' market is a great idea to give some of these small wines a chance to show what is in essence a farm product."
The bill faces opposition from one group dedicated to preventing substance abuse.
The farmers' market tasting bill has passed the Washington House and is pending in the state Senate.
Both Oregon and Idaho already allow wine and beer tasting at grocery stores and farmers' markets.