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Wine Tastings Now Allowed at Farmers Markets 

Wednesday, Jul 16 2014

Vinos rejoice ... sort of. Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill on July 8 allowing patrons to participate in wine tastings at farmers markets offered by winemakers who bottle their own product. Both houses of the Legislature approved the bill without dissent and the bill will be put into effect immediately.

But this doesn't mean you'll be getting drunk on your grocery run. AB-2488, written by Assemblyman Marc Levine, D-San Rafael, states there is a daily 3-ounce limit per person. It also states that the tasting areas are to be roped off to a separate part of the market and that only one winery can conduct a tasting at a time. A winery is also allowed to offer tastings only one day a week at a farmers market.

While the bill says that consumption can happen today, a local market is saying that this is not realistic.

The Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture's director of marketing and public relations, Susan Coss, says there are logistics and market policies to work through before wine tastings at the Ferry Plaza markets can begin.

Coss also says that if and when they do start incorporating tastings at their markets, they will be working with their existing vendors and aren't looking to "add any wineries in our markets." She added that she doubts CUESA's markets will be offering wine tastings "anytime soon."

Despite the legislation, the Heart of the City market in Civic Center will not be offering wine tastings, according to Executive Director Kate Creps.

There is also a $50 permit fee for the winemakers who offer the tastings, according to the bill.

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Tiffany Do


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