PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A group of Oregon wine industry interests have formed a new trade group.
The new coalition is called the Oregon Wine Council and it has an agenda that differs from the Oregon Winegrowers Association.
Members of the new group earlier this year opposed wine legislation they viewed as anti-competitive, particularly legislation regarding wine labeling.
Board member Sam Tannahill told KOIN 6 many growers were worried that their livelihoods were being threatened due to parts of the bills that “would make it much more onerous for out of state wineries to buy Oregon grapes.”
In a press release announcing OWC’s formation, Tannahill wrote that a majority of large, taxpaying wine growers as well as many of small producers around the state don’t have a say in how their tax money is spent.
The new council claims to represent the interests of the entire state.
Their main agenda item is calling for a halt to new wine-specific legislation in the upcoming 2020 short session so the wine industry as a whole has time to regroup.
“Let’s take a breath, let’s sit down at the table, let’s heal these wounds, let’s figure it out, let’s see if we can move forward together,” Tannahill said.
The Eugene Register-Guard reports a board member of the Oregon Wine Association, Justin King, says the argument that his organization is made up of selfish people from one area of the state is patently false.
But King echoed Tannahill’s sentiment, telling the Register-Guard the OWA will pause and try to heal the rifts that have been created.
This article was written with contributions from The Associated Press.