Proposed King County Regulations Update

King County has recently proposed new regulations that threaten the business of wineries and tasting rooms in rural King County, including Woodinville. These new regulations seek to allow tasting rooms to operate only in specific areas such as Vashon Island and a select few parcels south of the Woodinville roundabout. They also seek to limit operating hours, the ability to taste and sell wine, parking, and the size of the property for the business. The decisions that King County makes will either result in a thriving wine region in King County or the demise of the wine tasting experience that you and your friends currently enjoy. Please spend 5 minutes to make your voice heard and help keep rural King County wineries and tasting rooms open. Here are some suggestions; we greatly appreciate your support.

1. Contact your King County Councilperson and let them know of your support for wineries and tasting rooms in this region. Enter your street address here to get your King County Councilperson’s contact information: A complete list of King County Councilmembers is listed below for you to cut/paste and include your feedback.

2. Describe to your Councilperson why it is important to you to preserve wineries and tasting rooms in Woodinville. Here are some talking points to include as you feel appropriate:

  • King County can support the growing winery and tasting room economy and still preserve a rural character. I know because I’ve been there and I see that these businesses are compatible with their neighbors, offering such events as the Farm-to-Table Dinners hosted by Matthews Winery on their property which use produce and food products from their own and other local farms.
  • Woodinville Wine Country is a premier destination that supports jobs, tax revenues, small businesses and the overall Washington wine industry. Don’t shut down these growing and thriving small businesses, or severly limit their abilities to operate a successful business.
  • Lot and Building sizes should not restrict existing winery and tasting room businesses.
  • I like to visit my favorite wineries and tasting rooms year round, and especially on summer evenings after work. The proposed regulations requiring wineries and tasting rooms to close Monday-Thursday at 5:00 pm will deny me that opportunity. In addition, it will also hurt the majority of wine sales that happen during those after work hours. Hours of operation should be allowed until at least 9:00 or 10:00 pm during the week and 10:00 or 11:00 pm during weekends.
  • I love events at my favorite wineries and tasting rooms and they should not be limited. Any event during normal business hours should be permitted outright.
  • No existing wineries or tasting rooms should be put out of business by these new regulations.
  • All wineries and tasting rooms should be allowed to have retail sales and tastings, otherwise they won’t survive. Lot sizes up to 2.5 acres should be allowed to sell wine.
  • Wineries and tasting rooms should be allowed ample parking to minimize impacts on neighbors and not force off-site parking which creates even more traffic, congestion and potential safety issues.
  • Add your own story and experiences that you have enjoyed at Matthews and other wineries in the surrounding area.

3. Please include in the cc of your email.

Please submit your comments by Friday, June 15th, if possible. You are invited to attend the public hearing that is scheduled for June 19th, 2018 at 9:30 am in the King County Administration Building located at:

1200 King County Courthouse
516 Third Avenue, Room 1001
Seattle, WA 98104

Thank you for taking a few minutes to help support Matthews & Tenor Wines, and the wineries and tasting rooms in King County.

With gratitude,
Cliff, Diane and the Otis Family

List of King County Council-members: