Newhouse Returns As Wine Caucus Co-Chair
On Friday, Washington Republican representative Dan Newhouse was announced as Co-Chair of the Congressional Wine Caucus alongside California Democrat Mike Thompson. The two will continue to lead the bicameral and bipartisan Caucus for the 118th Congress.
Wine is produced in all 50 states and generates jobs and revenue in both rural and urban communities. The wine industry contributes an estimated $276 billion to the U.S. economy annually and creates the equivalent of almost two million full-time jobs. The more than 10,000 predominantly family-owned wineries in the U.S. attract more than 49 million tourists each year who enjoy the wines, cultural activities, and scenic pastoral landscapes in wine country.
In Washington, there are more than 800 wineries and over 250 wine and grape growers. The wine industry generates over $9.5 billion in total economic activity with over 14,000 acres of vineyards and 60,000 jobs created and supported by the wine industry. With 14 unique AVAs across the state, Washington's wine industry continues to grow and produce high-quality varieties that are enjoyed all over the world. In addition, Washington State University is one of the country's leading viticulture research institutions and one of only 14 universities in the United States to offer a Viticulture & Enology degree.
"As a proud grape grower, I know firsthand the strong economic contributions made by the grape and wine producers and the issues our industry faces,” Newhouse noted. “I am honored to represent the flourishing, high-quality wine region of Central Washington. I look forward to continue working with Rep. Thompson to ensure that our nation's wine industry – from wine grape growers to winemakers and sellers – can continue to thrive and grow."
“Agriculture is important to our district and to every state across our country. Winegrapes are grown in all 50 states and generate $276 billion for our economy while creating nearly two million jobs,” said Thompson. “I founded the Congressional Wine Caucus to develop a line of communication between winegrape growers and vintners and Congress. During the 118th Congress, Rep. Newhouse and I, and the entire Wine Caucus, will continue this work to support our wine community.”
“We at WineAmerica are deeply grateful to Representatives Dan Newhouse and Mike Thompson for their leadership as Co-chairs of the bipartisan, bicameral Congressional Wine Caucus,” said Jim Trezise, President of WineAmerica. “Our 2022 National Economic Impact Study showed that the wine industry boosted the American economy by $276 billion, up by 25% from 2017. Since wine is produced and consumed in all 50 states, it is vital that we have legislators who are both informed and involved. The Congressional Wine Caucus serves that purpose.”
“The Washington Wine Institute is very proud to have Congressman Dan Newhouse as Co-Chair of the Congressional Wine Caucus,” said Josh McDonald, Executive Director of Washington Wine Institute. “As a wine grower himself, he understands the industry and what is needed to ensure that Washington wineries has sustainable growth in the future. We look forward to working with him to promote and support the wine industry in Washington state and across the nation.”
“The Washington Winegrowers are particularly thrilled with Congressman Newhouse’s position as co-chair of the Congressional Wine Caucus,” said Vicki Scharlau, Executive Director of the Washington Winegrowers Association. “He more than most others understands the challenges and unique opportunities afforded grape growers—being one himself. We look forward to his leadership promoting and protecting the US wine industry all the while having his feet firmly planted in the vineyards of Washington state.”
If you have a story idea for the PNW Ag Network, call (509) 547-9791, or e-mail email@example.com