Farm Wineries are given a special status in Minnesota because our state wants to promote the fledgling farm winery industry. Through the years, I like to take an informal poll to see how many people in my social sphere know about Minnesota wine...and the answer is: not many. The first response I always get is, "Really? How?" and the second question that always follows is whether it's actually any good. Well, why wouldn't it be? If people chug down all those Two Buck Chucks, they ought to know that Minnesota wine is, of course, just as good.
Farm Wineries are given special status, which means they can:
- sell their products on Sundays between the hours of 12 noon and 12 midnight;
- sell via the Internet, up to two cases per customer, as permitted in Minnesota Statutes,
- section 340A.417;
- operate a restaurant or other establishment (a change passed in the 2007 session);
- give free samples to visitors; and
- import, with special permits issued by the commissioner, additional grapes to add to their
- crops in an off-year for farm production.
To get the full report from the Minnesota House of Representatives Research Department, click here.
Minnesota Statute 340A.315 Farm Winery License may also be of interest.
It is important to note that this statute will most likely be revisited in the future. Currently, many farm winery owners are concerned about market access if they are only allowed to give samples of their wine at non-profits with a per event liquor permit from their local government unit. This limits the number of people that will be exposed to Minnesota wine.