The Washington State Wine Commission was created by the Washington State Legislature in 1987 to promote the growth of the wine industry for the benefit of all of the state’s citizens. Its mission is to raise awareness and demand for Washington State wine through marketing and education, while supporting viticulture and enology research to drive industry growth.
The Commission was constituted in 1987 under the Washington State Department of Agriculture and is governed by an appointed board of commissioners. The Commission is composed of twelve voting members and one non-voting member; five voting members shall be growers, five voting members shall be wine producers, one voting member shall be the Director of the Washington State Department of Agriculture and one voting member shall be a wine distributor. The non-voting member is a producer of non-vinifera fruit wine. Members serve three-year terms.
Get to know our Board below:
John Sportelli, Chairman, Columbia Winery
John has had the opportunity to gain a variety of experiences in the wine industry, spending time in both on-sale and retail channels. He has also held a variety of distributor sales and management positions with three different distributors in the Northwest. He has a love and focus for wine and food and making dinners for friends…and of course the best wine is #WAwine.
- Hometown: St. Paul, MN
- Favorite Drink other than Wine: Mostly bourbon Manhattans.
- Favorite Thing to Pair With #WAwine: Any Washington red wine and a BBQ steak.
- Share An Additional Fun Fact we might not have asked about: I have a very large draft cross named Rio Grande. He acts like a cross between Loki and Albert Einstein.
Sadie Drury, Vice Chair, Seven Hills Vineyard
Sadie Drury is a cowgirl and plant enthusiast turned winegrower. She oversees a management company farming six vineyards in the Walla Walla AVA. Sadie is passionately committed to growing the best possible wine grapes in a sustainable way taking care of the land and people who farm it.
- Hometown: Walla Walla, WA.
- Previous Profession That You Are Proud Of: Bartender! I met a lot of my favorite people in the wine industry working at a bar in Walla Walla.
- Favorite Topic You Continue to Learn/Study: Native plants. They’re so important to the land and many people aren’t aware of them.
- Favorite Party Trick: I like to crochet hats at parties and give them away to inquiring people. This is an introvert party trick.
Dan Werth, Treasurer, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates
Dan Werth currently serves as Chief Financial and Technology Officer for Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, leading Finance, Accounting, and Information Services. Previously, Dan was the Chief Operating Officer for Ste Michelle joining the winery in 2018. Before Ste. Michelle, Dan was with MillerCoors for 20 years and also worked at Philip Morris USA. Dan has a business degree in accounting from James Madison University, after which he earned his CPA with KPMG.
- Hometown: Abigdon, Virginia.
- Previous Profession That You Are Proud Of: Twenty years in Sales working with great customers and co-workers.
- Favorite Drink other than Wine: Miller Lite (Of course 😊).
- Favorite #WAWine Variety: Chardonnay.
Shylah Alfonso, Pomum Cellars and Idilico Wines
Shylah Alfonso is the co-owner of Pomum Cellars and Idilico Wines. She is also a partner at Perkins Coie, LLP specializing in competition law.
- Hometown: Portland, OR.
- Favorite Guilty Pleasure: Reality TV.
- Favorite Party Trick: Not sure this qualifies, but I LOVE karaoke.
- Share An Additional Fun Fact we might not have asked about: I did not drink any alcohol until a backpacking trip through Europe after graduating from college. With a shoestring budget, a Spanish boyfriend, and wine being less expensive than water, my introduction to wine began!
Dick Boushey, Boushey Vineyards
Dick Boushey been farming wine grapes in the Yakima Valley for over 40 years. He and his wife Luanne own Boushey Vineyards, they grow wine grapes and juice grapes in the Grandview area, and manage vineyards in the Red Mountain AVA. Dick has been the recipient of several distinguished industry awards; the “Walter Clore Award” from the Washington State Grape Society, “Grower of the Year” Eric Hanson memorial award from the Washington Assoc. of Wine Grape Growers, “Honorary Grower Chair” for Children’s Hospital Auction of Washington Wines, “Industry Service Award” from the wine grape growers.
- Hometown: Deadwood, SD
- Favorite Guilty Pleasure: Zombie and Vampire movies.
- How Your Pet/Kids/Friends Would Describe You: A food and wine provider; my life is pretty much paired with #WAwine.
- Share An Additional Fun Fact we might not have asked about: I never met a wine I didn’t drink.
Steve Griessel, Betz Family Winery
Steve and his wife and partner, Bridgit are the lucky owners of Betz Family Winery. They are passionate about wine and the potential of Washington state as a premier wine growing region in the world. Steve and Bridgit are both entrepreneurs who started businesses in their 20s with big dreams and no capital. They have 3 wonderful kids.
- Hometown: Redmond, WA.
- Favorite Drink other than Wine: Single Malt Scotch
- How Your Pet/Kids/Friends Would Describe You: Fun, high energy
- Share An Additional Fun Fact we might not have asked about: I was the Lead Singer in a band back in the day!
Rachael Horn, AniChe Cellars
Rachael Horn began her career in the wine industry working in fine dining for 18 years to put herself through college, supplement the homeschooling of her children, facilitate world travel, supplement her income as a public school teacher and then to sustain a pursuit of writing. Her education in wine was hands on, and led to a natural interest in further education. After a degree in History and Anthropology from University of California, Riverside, she received a Certificate of Enology from Washington State University. She intrepidly opened her winery, AniChe Cellars in 2009 with her new degree and a passion for making old world style wine blends in homage to culinary synergy. She is currently studying her WSET DIploma, exploring and experimenting in sparkling wines in her winery program, finishing her second novel, working many bee hives, volunteering on several boards, learning several languages, and voraciously reading.
- Hometown: Corona, CA.
- Previous Profession That You Are Proud Of: While winemaking is my day job, I am most proud of my writing. I have written a few novels, to cut my teeth and prove to myself what I can accomplish. But writing poetry, lyrics, blogs and short stories is a natural remedy for the tangle of existential angst and passion of an active mind. It can hardly be called a career, but more of a purpose.
- Where Do You Find Inspiration? Curiosity. The indelible itch of Wonder, and the observation of it in others. I am deeply moved by complex systems, nuance, aberration, paradox, outliers and conundrums. For me, curiosity is the fodder for an artfully lived life.
- Favorite Drink other than Wine: Pre-noon coffee. Post-noon bourbon.
Ryan Lumaco, Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits
Ryan is the Vice President and General Manager of Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits of WA. He and his team of 400 employees are responsible for the sales execution and programming of their vast portfolio of wine of spirits across Washington. Ryan has been in the wine and spirits industry for 25 years and has worked on both the supplier and distributor sides of the business.
- Hometown: Hillsboro, OR.
- Previous Profession That You Are Proud Of: This is the only profession I have ever had! Started with the Gallo Winery right out of college.
- Favorite Guilty Pleasure: Snacking on Jelly Bellies…..all day!
- Share An Additional Fun Fact we might not have asked about: I’m a college football junky and will watch any game, anytime, regardless of who’s playing.
Lacey Lybecker, Cairdeas Winery
Lacey Lybecker, along with husband Charlie, own and operate Cairdeas Winery on the north shore of beautiful Lake Chelan just outside of Manson, WA. Specializing in Rhône Inspired Wines, the couple produces 5,000 cases of wine annually. They also have two sons (ages 9 and 7), two rescue dogs, two aquatic turtles and seven chickens to tend to. Previously, Lacey held marketing management roles in the fields of nonprofit, events and hospitality.
- Hometown: Red Lake Falls, MN.
- Previous Profession That You Are Proud Of: Event Marketing for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. It’s also how I met my husband, he was working for a radio station that hosted a fundraiser for St. Jude.
- Favorite Drink other than Wine: Coffee! 16oz Americano with Oat Milk; hot but sometimes iced.
- Favorite Thing to Pair With #WAwine: Spaghetti & Clams or Risotto.
Casey McClellan, McClellan Estate Vineyard
Casey helped to establish Seven Hills Vineyard in the early 1980s, and went on to found Seven Hills Winery in the late 80’ with his wife Vicky. He is also a current owner of McClellan Estate Vineyard. As a strong believer in the synergy of working together, he has volunteered on numerous industry and community boards over past decades.
- Hometown: Walla Walla, WA.
- Favorite Drink other than Wine: A perfect Manhattan.
- Favorite #WAWine Variety: Cabernet Sauvignon.
Todd Newhouse, Upland Vineyards
Todd is a father of five and fourth generation Yakima Valley farmer whose diverse family farm grows not only wine grapes and concords, but many different varieties of tree fruit as well. After receiving a BA at Whitman College in 1995, he immediately started working full time on the farm. He’s served on numerous wine industry boards and committees, chaired the Winegrowers Association and the Winegrape Growers of America, and co-authored (with Joan Davenport) the Snipes Mountain AVA petition. He also lobbied in Washington DC on behalf of the industry for six years.
- Hometown: Grandview and Sunnyside, WA
- Favorite Drink other than Wine: A cold and hoppy IPA
- Favorite Topic You Continue to Learn/Study: Rock and roll. I’m an old soul. As with vines, it’s all about the roots!
- Favorite #WAWine Variety: Grenache. Fun and challenging to grow, pairs well with a plethora of foods and is great in red form or as a Rosé!
Rianne Perry, Washington State Department of Agriculture
Rianne grew up in rural Lewis County and is a graduate of Western Washington University and the Washington Agriculture & Forestry Leadership Program. She currently manages the International Marketing Program at the Washington State Department of Agriculture. In addition to serving on the Washington State Wine Commission board, she also serves on the boards of the National Association of Agricultural Marketing Officials and the Washington Small Business Development Center, along with various agriculture and trade-related committees.
- Hometown: Toledo, WA
- Previous Profession That You Are Proud Of: Museum Assistant Director
- Favorite Thing to Pair With #WAwine: WA Seafood
- Where Do You Find Your Inspiration? Travel
Serena Roberge-Gordon, Perennial Vintners
Serena Roberge-Gordon is the winemaker for Perennial Vintners on Bainbridge Island, and additionally owns two small vineyards in Western Washington.
- Favorite Drink other than Wine:
- Favorite Topic You Continue to Learn/Study: I am in constant pursuit of refining and expanding my cooking and baking skills. Photography is also a practice that I am dedicated to as well.
- How Your Pet/Kids/Friends Would Describe You: My horses, who are all rescues, would say that I am very dedicated to their welfare, recovery, and comfort; and that I find every excuse I can to play with them and show them how much I love them.