Scharlau: Wine Industry Need Help Following Early September Fires

Because of the wildfires, many of which broke out Labor Day weekend across the western U.S.,  the Washington Winegrowers’ is calling on Congress for an extension of the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus, better known as the WHIP+, to help impacted growers and winemakers. Executive Director, Vicky Scharlau said nine other regional and national organizations joined the Winegrowers in penning the letter to Nancy Pelosi and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

“The West Coast states of Oregon, Washington and California got together…sent a letter off…and pointed out these three states, just the wine grape crop alone is valued at $4.5 billion and all three states are suffering from the huge impact of wildfires in the past few weeks.”

Scharlau added she’s hopeful lawmakers will act quickly.

“We’re hopeful this letter helps them understand the severity of the impact, especially since wine grapes growers are in the middle of harvest in all three states, And are desperate if they do find their crop is unmarketable, that there is some sort of mechanism that allows them to regain the losses they’ve experienced through the massive amounts of smoke exposure.”

Scharlau said another concern for growers and winemakers is the smoke exposure many vineyards suffered, even those hundreds of miles from active wildfires.

Click Here to read the letter submitted to Congressional leadership.

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