Picture Jack Nicholson in your mind, if you will, and listen to him say, "You can't handle the truth!"
Truth is people do not like to visit wineries with cop cars parked in front or ones with armed mercenaries roaming the grounds. Our guests are not criminals and I think there are better ways of dealing with the few who cause problems – like limit the amount of alcohol poured.
I try to keep this blog a 'reality' show (your words) because most blogs are not. They are 'spin' shows. As Bill says, "The spin stops here." Yes, I try to be humorous because the wine industry as a whole lacks humor. It takes itself much too seriously. Any winery wannabee who reads this blog will have a lot better business plan than if they consult the Washington Wine Commission. If they read this blog and still decide to start a winery, more power to them. I wish them all the success in the world and welcome them to the industry.
As far as 'leadership' (your word again) goes, writing the petition to establish the Rattlesnake Hills AVA was an antiestablishment act in and of itself. (I won't repeat the caustic comments again.) I am not a member of 'the club' and don't intend to be. If you would read more, you would see I wrote a letter in support of the establishment of the Snipes Mountain AVA. I think I support the industry more than the people who wrote letters opposing the RHAVA petition. They did serious damage to the reputation of the Washington wine industry yet they are looked up to as 'the leaders.' I know, the truth hurts.
As for the Washington Wine Commission, a lot of wineries – especially in this region- think the WWC does little more than take our money. (How much money? That's another blog.)
I too served on the WWI board. It has since become irrelevant and not representative of the state as a whole. I now belong to the Family Wineries of Washington State.
I am not going to post your open letter because I think you might want to rethink it. But should you choose, you are welcome to post the original letter or a response to this blog.
The Washington wine industry is mature enough for a frank conversation. Let's see if we can handle the truth.