Oregon Winegrowers Association: A Winning Hand for Wineries

Oregon Winegrowers Association: A Winning Hand for Wineries


One of Oregon's most prominent wineries had been told to close its kitchen and stop hosting weddings. Influential legislators decided to introduce a bill in Oregon's special legislative session in February 2010. Oregon wine industry members reflected divergent views on commercial events in farm zones, and there was no time for a consensus-building process.


Legislation would be heard during a short session in which any significant opposition could derail it.


Working with legal counsel for the Oregon Winegrowers Association, CFM developed draft legislation that struck a moderate position on the issue of commercial events held by wineries. CFM worked carefully with the OWA board, county officials and key legislators to eliminate most objections. One fear was that wine industry officials would avoid participating in interim discussions about a broader solution. CFM provided assurances the wine industry would be an active participant in those discussions.


The legislation passed comfortably in both the Oregon Senate and House and was signed into law by the governor. OWA and CFM kept their word and participated constructively in interim discussions. The industry also surveyed its members and developed a consensus process to bring a more refined set of proposals to the 2011 legislative session.