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Sip local to keep Washington wineries alive

Washington wines. (Getty Images)

We have discussed the precarious economic position for the state’s beer-makers in during this pandemic. The same holds true for Washington wineries.

WA could lose half its breweries if stay-at-home order lingers through summer

While there is certainly a risk that some small wineries might not survive this economic downturn, the prognosis might not be as dire for our wineries.

Steve Warner, president of the Washington Wine Commission, told the Ag Information Network it has been a mixed bag for wineries. The retail market at stores is going great.

“They’ve actually seen a little bit of an uptick or quite a bit of an uptick in sales because everyone is pantry-loading and stocking up,” Warner said.

People are buying cases instead of bottles in some instances. It’s the restaurant and tasting room business that has disappeared.

“That’s been completely decimated,” Warner said.

Like the Brewing Commission said, the sooner the stay-at-home orders are lifted, the better for the wine industry, too. That will get people back out to wineries and tasting rooms and money flowing again.

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“Getting people back out to tasting rooms and tasting wine and buying wine in the tasting rooms is a huge channel for us, and we are missing that opportunity.”

The third wine market has been hit or miss. Similar to breweries, wineries that had a good online retail business before this are doing better than those that did not.

“We’ve seen some wineries do quite well,” Warner said.

The continued guidance, if you want your favorite winery to survive this, is to sip local. Support your favorite local winery.

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