Local wineries would get a boost from Warnick legislation

Senate approves measure to increase number of tasting rooms

The state Senate today approved legislation sponsored by Sen. Judy Warnick that would expand the number of tasting rooms small wineries can operate from two to four. Senate Bill 5426 was approved overwhelmingly, 44 to 5, and goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.

“We have many small wineries that are in need of this kind of support,” said Warnick, R-Moses Lake. “This is a good small-business bill to help a growing industry thrive.”

The Liquor and Cannabis Board, which heavily regulates the industry, limits the number of tasting rooms a winery may operate separate from its manufacturing site, and must still approve any additional tasting rooms.

Warnick added, “It can be hard for small business to compete with large retailers; this legislation allows small wineries to get their products to consumers in an innovative and practical way.”