Recently in Minnesota Wine Politics Category

Farm Wineries in Minnesota

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.

It's been too long

I came across this article today. I need to find out more about new Minnesota Vineyards. I am pretty sure I didn't know about White Rabbit Vineyards in 2007. I will report back on any new findings!

Advocacy Groups for "Freeing Grapes"

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So confusing...seems that every state has different laws regarding the sale of wine. Some states have reciprocity rules, but you might be breaking the law if you're sending a bottle of wine from California to Alabama.

Our Constitutional Law course has been focusing a lot on state rights vs. federalism. This whole wine law issues seems so "backwards" to me. Why not allow the free trade between different states on wine law? It's not like we're in prohibition anymore. I need to find out, perhaps, what happened in recent history that makes these laws so bizarre. Seems strange that if my best friend in Alabama is getting married that I'd get thrown in jail for sending her a bottle of wine from a local winery in Minnesota. I found all this information on the Wine Institute Home Page. This site is more of an advocacy group for California wines...but the information is relevant to wine connoiseurs in Minnesota...especially for those people in Minnesota who were thinking of shipping wines to their friends.

Another general advocacy group is Free the Grapes. This is neat because they're taking on the perspective that a lot of wholesalers are basically pissed off that with wine being sold directly to the consumer, that they won't be making any money. So many wholesalers have lobbied the states to make it illegal for wineries to sell directly to the consumer. For wine lovers, this is a bad thing...why pay more for your wine than you really should? Again, I have to do a bit more research on this, not sure if this has become more of an issue after the popularity of internet sales.

I also found this on the state auditor's website.. Click on the Liquor Regulation. It is important to note that in general the adjusted wine price in Minnesota is 5-7% higher than in Wisconsin. I guess the next time I visit my dad in Eau Claire, I will be hanging out in the liquor store at Mega Foods comparing wine prices to the Byerly's in my neighborhood.

Okay back to the real world of law...when I have time, I have to do more research and comment. This is an unending nightmare...I keep finding more information I want to read up on and so keep archiving...

Ordering Wine On-Line...good/bad?

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Maybe the ability to order online is a bad thing? Check this article out. Wine sellers can't check how old you are, so underage people are able to purchase liquor over the internet.

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This page is an archive of recent entries in the Minnesota Wine Politics category.

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