New California Law Allows Wine Tastings at Farmers’ Markets

On July 8, 2014, Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill allowing state licensed winegrowers (Type 02 license holders) to host “instructional tasting events” at certified state farmers’ markets.   The bill (AB 2488) passed the Senate last month and had the support of the Wine Institute and Family Winemakers of California.

Prior to the law’s passage, a Type 02 licensed winegrower could apply for a “Certified Farmers’ Market Sales Permit” (Type 79) which would allow the winegrower to sell wine at farmers’ markets, so long as the wine was (a) produced entirely from grapes grown by the licensee and (b) bottled by the licensee.

Under the new law, Certified Farmers’ Market Sales Permit holders may host an “instructional tasting event” under certain circumstances.

  • The operator of the certified farmers’ market must approve the event;
  • The event must be conducted by either the licensee, a member of licensee’s family, or an employee of licensee;
  • The area for the event must be separated from the remainder of the market by some permanent or temporary barrier (wall, rope, cable, etc.);
  • Tasting is limited to three ounces of wine per person per day; and
  • No open container of wine may leave the instructional tasting area.

For more information on California state alcohol beverage privileges, please contact John Trinidad ([email protected]).