PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – On Wednesday, the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board rejected a petition requesting that the board allow Washington wineries to sell wines they’ve produced in Oregon from their Washington winery locations and tasting rooms.

The Washington Wine Institute filed the petition because, under current state regulations, Washington businesses with domestic winery licenses are limited to selling their own Washington-produced wines. These statutes also require 95% of the grapes used in the wine-making process to be grown in-state.

Washington Wine Institute Executive Director Josh McDonald told KOIN 6 News that outside of designated wine-grape-growing regions shared by Oregon and Idaho, known as “American viticultural areas,” Washington wines are exclusively produced in Washington.

“Close to 100% of Washington State wine is grown and manufactured in our state,” McDonald said. “Our desire to allow those Washington wineries that do have an Oregon-produced wine in their overall wine portfolio is a very small percentage, but still, this wine is owned by the Washington winery and these sales would be meaningful for those wineries.”

The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board said that it denied the WWI’s petition on the grounds that the issue conflicts with state laws that must be addressed by state legislators. These laws include the aforementioned restrictions placed on state wineries and protective branding restrictions that prohibit winemakers from designating wines produced outside the state as Washington-made.

These laws, McDonald said, impact Washington wineries wanting to produce pinot noir in Oregon, where growing conditions for the red wine are hailed as some of the best in the world.

“The most common Oregon-produced wine a Washington winery would own is Pinot Noir from the Willamette Valley,” he said. “Oregon has done an excellent job growing [this grape] and becoming known throughout the world [for producing] an exceptional wine.”

WSLCB Rules Coordinator Audrey Vasek said at the meeting, however, that any changes the board could make regarding these policies would push the limits of its authority.

“This petition request would require statutory changes which can be made by the legislature or voters through the initiative process, but are beyond the board’s rulemaking authority,” Vasek said. “For this reason, the staff recommendation is to deny this petition.”

McDonald, who disagreed with the board’s ruling, said that these restrictions result in a loss of revenue for Washington wineries and the state of Washington. Addressing the board, he said that the advocacy group plans to continue working with the WSLCB to find an agreeable solution.

“We are disappointed with the recommendation,” McDonald said. “If we need to work on legislation, we will engage with your staff to [find] the best way to achieve our goals.”