Changes proposed to County winery regulations

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Sponsored by: Department of Land Use and Transportation, Planning and Development Services Division

Changes to Washington County's winery regulations were considered at a public hearing held during the Sept. 20 Board of Commissioners meeting.

The proposed updates to regulations in Ordinance 815 represent the first significant update to the County's winery standards since 1990. The updates would reflect changes in state provisions for wineries in the Exclusive Farm Use (EFU) and Agricultural & Forestry 80-acre minimum (AF-20) land use districts. Proposed updates include: 

  • Formalizing regulations for tasting rooms, wine-marketing events, winery-specific agritourism and other allowable activities.
  • Creation of a Large Winery classification for wineries that produce at least 150,000 gallons of wine peryear from at least 160 acres.
As required by state law, the changes would allow both standard and large wineries to host an unlimited number of events/activities directly related to the sale or promotion of wine, including tastings, dinners and wine club events; charitable events as long as no facility fee is imposed; and to market/sell merchandise directly related to wine.

Proposed regulations regarding winery commercial events where wine promotion is secondary are as follows:

Standard Winery
Large Winery
  • Maximum 18 days/year
  • Maximum 25 days/year with winery permit
  • Days 1-6 via non-land use permit; days 7-18 require a separate land use permit
  • More than 25 days/year with a separate permit
  • Limited service Kitchen facilities
  • Restaurant service up to 25 days/year with a winery permit
  • More than 26 days/year with separate permit


The second public hearing on proposed changes will be held during the 10 a.m. Board meeting on Oct. 18 in the auditorium of the Public Services Building, 155 N. First Ave.

Washington County is committed to planning and protecting the uses of the land and to building and maintaining a great transportation system, balancing care for the natural environment, economic development, safety and community livability.

Media Contact:

Melissa De Lyser, Communications Coordinator