Idaho Wine Commission prepares legislation for 2018 session

Posted at 5:17 PM, Dec 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-04 19:17:04-05

Wine makers around Idaho have their own state agency watching out for their best interests. The Idaho Wine Commission pours their energy into promoting all Idaho wineries and grape growers. 

"There's a lot of comradery, because if your winery wins, my winery wins," Executive Director Moya Dolsby said. 

The commission is working on legislation for the upcoming session that they say would help grow the industry. 

One bill in the works would allow businesses to create their own private label. If that legislation passes, restaurants and companies could purchase wine from local wineries and put the name of their own business on the label. 

"I think that would help them for marketing purposes, and wineries could sell more wine that way," Dolsby said.

The commission is also working on a bill to streamline the licensing process for wineries. 

"Can a winery just get their state license and call it good?" Dolsby said. "It would be like having to get a drivers license in the county and the city you live in. That would be ridiculous, but that's basically what we're asking of the wineries."

Idaho's 52 wineries produce about 250,000 cases of wine with Idaho grapes grown on roughly 1,300 acres. 

The commission hopes passing the legislation will take them closer to reaching their goals.

"My goal for ten years is to have 100 wineries, 10,000 acres and make a million cases of wine," Dolsby said. "We'll see. I think we can get there."

The 2018 Legislative Session starts Jan. 8.