Washington Ranks 15th for Wine Consumer Friendly States - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Washington Ranks 15th for Wine Consumer Friendly States

Posted: Updated:

RICHLAND, Wash. - For a state with more than 750 wineries you might be surprised to find out just how wine friendly Washington is for consumers. According to the Washington State Wine Commission, the industry makes an $8-billion impact on the state's economy.

Washington is the second largest producer of premium wines in the U.S. but when stacked against the others in terms of friendliness, Washington falls to 15th on that list.

"I am surprised and shocked because I thought we've done really well in our state and I can't believe we'd be at number 15," said co-owner of Mid Columbia Wine and Spirits Rajiv Malhan.

Malhan's store sells a wide variety of wines from all over the world. He thinks consumer access to wine in Washington may need a bit of a boost.

"Wine industry generates a lot of taxes for the state, so if that is the case, then the state needs to step up to the plate and promote industry more than they have," said Malhan.

These 'friendly' rankings are based on things like shipping availability, grocery store sales and bring your own bottle laws.

"The industry in Washington is growing. We're still very young in the wine industry. As we grow, I think we'll become more and more friendly toward the guest as well as more educational for the guest," said Jason Sadler of Bookwalter Winery.

According to the report, Washington also scored low because of restrictions when it comes to direct shipping from wine retailers. That can limit the consumer choices.