Gov. Jerry Brown announced Tuesday that he signed Assembly Bill 2488 into law which expands upon the sales permits for alcoholic beverages at farmers' markets, specifically for wine and cider.
Local winemakers could already sell their products at the events, but couldn't let people sample them-- which they say hurt sales.
"This bill would specify that, pursuant to the certified farmers’ market sales permit, the licensee may only sell wine that is produced entirely from grapes or other agricultural products grown by the winegrower and that is bottled by the winegrower," the bill states, adding that the licensee can also "...conduct an instructional tasting event on the subject of wine at a certified farmers’ market, subject to certain conditions."
The bill was introduced by Assemblyman Marc Levine, D-San Rafael, who represents the 10th District, which includes Marin County and southern Sonoma County-- right near the heart of California's wine country.
Here's more from Levine's office on the bill:
“I thank Governor Brown for his signature on this legislation,” Levine said. “The farmers’ market shopping experience involves tasting the products. AB 2488 is a common sense solution that simply allows tastings at certified farmers’ markets where winemakers are already allowed to sell their products.”
AB 2488 takes effect immediately to allow certified farmers’ market sales during the current season. The new privilege provided under AB 2488 is subject to a number of safeguards.
Market managers now have the discretion to allow tastings at their specific market. Only one winery on any given day may offer tastings. The tastings must occur in a corded off area of the market. Additionally, the grower is limited to pour no more than 3 ounces of wine or cider per adult consumer.
“Traditionally, wine, like many products, is sold through sampling. Consumers want to understand the wine, decide if they like it, and decide if it is a good value,” said Paul Kronenberg, President of the Family Winemakers of California (Co-sponsor of AB 2488).
“AB 2488 is win-win-win for wineries and cider makers, consumers, and the certified farmers’ markets,” said Mike Falasco, Vice President of the Wine Institute (Co-sponsor of AB 2488).