Archive for Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wine sales at Farmers’ Market OK’d

A new state law will allow locally made wine to be sold at the farmer's market. The wine from a local vineyard should begin being sold in the next few weeks.

August 19, 2009

Advertisement

Pick up some homegrown tomatoes, some fresh sweet corn and a nice bottle of wine. Soon you’ll be able to do it all in one place, and it won’t be one of those fancy mega-marts.

More like a simple farmers market.

A state law went into effect July 1 that allows Kansas wineries to sell their wines at licensed farmers markets.

“We have quite a few customers who ask us about that possibility weekly,” said Don Bryant, who has applied for his rural McLouth winery to start selling at the Lawrence Farmers’ Market. “I think it will give a little bit different perspective to farmers market customers. Hopefully it will attract some new customers.”

It also may give farmers markets a unique retail advantage by making them one of the few places in the state that can sell both wine and groceries. Kansas grocery and convenience stores, for example, are prohibited from selling wine and liquor.

Lawrence city commissioners at their Tuesday night meeting made the necessary changes to allow the wine to be sold on the city property that hosts the Lawrence Farmers’ Market. Bryant, who owns Jefferson Hill Vineyard and Guest House, is waiting for his state license and hopes to begin selling in the next couple of weeks.

The new law won’t allow for wine tastings, which are common at individual wineries. It also won’t allow the wineries to sell wine by the glass at farmers markets.

Wineries in some states, Bryant said, make more than half their sales at farmers markets. He said Kansas vintners will get the opportunity to sell at local markets, in part, because of a bad joke.

In 2007 when then-Gov. Kathleen Sebelius made a joke about the quality of Kansas wine to a Washington state crowd, Sebelius felt so bad about the derogatory nature of her comments that she sent each Kansas winemaker a personal note of apology.

Bryant responded with a note of his own, suggesting the idea of allowing wine to be sold at farmers markets. About two weeks later, a meeting with Sebelius and the state’s secretary of agriculture had been arranged.

“They agreed that they could get this done,” Bryant said. “It was great.”

The new law also included a provision that makes it easier for Kansas winemakers to ship their products via the U.S. mail, said Sarah Larison, a marketing representative with the state’s Department of Commerce.

Bryant said the changes should help the wine industry’s long-term growth in the state.

“This is definitely a good step,” Bryant said. “I think given time, Kansas’ wine industry could easily rival Missouri’s wine industry. The key is making Kansans more aware of the wine industry. All of this will help.”

Horizon 2020 change

Commissioners on Tuesday also agreed to open the door to a possible retreat and conference center development in rural Douglas County.

Commissioners approved a change to Horizon 2020 — the city and county’s comprehensive plan — that would allow retreat and conference center development in portions of Douglas County, as long as the developments met certain requirements.

The change in the comprehensive plan was requested by a local development group that wants to build a conference center and retreat on property between Lawrence and Lecompton. That project still must receive several approvals from the Douglas County Commission.

County commissioners are expected to hear the zoning request for that property in the next several weeks.

Comments

bigdave 5 years, 8 months ago

(Kansas grocery and convenience stores, for example, are prohibited from selling wine and liquor)

You can by Boone's wine at the grocery store. You just can't get any thing over 3.2% alcohol at grocery and convenience stores.

Eric Neuteboom 5 years, 8 months ago

Now if they would only amend the law about having wine shipped into Kansas...

WHY 5 years, 8 months ago

It is funny how many different ways we regulate the same chemical. It is okay to sell it if it is made from grapes by a farmer who lives in Kansas in a parking lot, or if it is at least 97% something else then you can sell it at a grocery store, or you can sell it in your store no matter where it came from or how much it has in it but only if you sell nothing else. Oh and on certain holidays you can't sell it even though that is the time you really need it.

Ronda Miller 5 years, 8 months ago

Will Davenport Orchards begin selling their award winning wine at the Farmer's Market? I really want to try their peach, pear, and rhubarb wines. Dessert anyone?

Scott Tichenor 5 years, 8 months ago

The folks from the McClouth Winery are just about the nicest couple you'd want to meet. I purchase their food products every week at the Farmer's Market and they have some incredible offerings. Nice our city is smart enough to know that allowing people to sell something like wine can help someone's economic situation, even if it's just a few small wineries. Bravo!

Zachary Stoltenberg 5 years, 8 months ago

Coach Eric, Read the story again...

"The new law also included a provision that makes it easier for Kansas winemakers to ship their products via the U.S. mail, said Sarah Larison, a marketing representative with the state’s Department of Commerce."

It's been done for several months. Open mouth, insert foot.

Eric Neuteboom 5 years, 8 months ago

Zstolt, while I appreciate your attempts at enlightening me, I'm hoping that the law will change to make it easier to ship or mail wines into the state of Kansas from, say, California (maybe this has happened, but it's not mentioned in the story). Currently, if you visit a winery in California, they can not ship their wines to Kansas. Or if you join a mailing club like the "wine of the month club," you can not join if you live in Kansas or provide a Kansas mailing address.

How's your foot taste?

Boeing 5 years, 8 months ago

Coach_Eric: http://www.wineintro.com/basics/shipping/KS/

As of July 2009: "If you physically go to a winery and order the wine AT the winery you can have unlimited amounts of wine shipped home to you. However, if you just call up the winery or order on the internet you can only have 12 cases of wine a year sent to you."

StirrrThePot 5 years, 8 months ago

"As of July 2009: “If you physically go to a winery and order the wine AT the winery you can have unlimited amounts of wine shipped home to you. However, if you just call up the winery or order on the internet you can only have 12 cases of wine a year sent to you.”

I read about this last month. I was doing a happy dance. I am glad Kansas is getting into the 21st century!

Eric Neuteboom 5 years, 8 months ago

Thanks so much Boeing! That is indeed GREAT news!

Jimo 5 years, 8 months ago

Coach Eric is partly right. Kansas had a fairly obviously unconstitutional liquor law before and the Legislature, to avoid litigation, has changed the law just enough that it might pass muster. The new law still contemplates failure though - all of the changes cease immediately if any portion of the statute is struck down in the courts!

The fact remains that Kansas liquor laws unconstitutionally step on Congress' exclusive constitutional power to regulate commerce (all commerce) among the States.

Why again does anyone need to pay a $50 registration fee to buy a bottle of wine? What's next, a "registration fee" for the privilege of buying apples? getting a haircut? Note to the Kansas Treasurer: here's a way to raise revenue...fees. They're not taxes, you know!

irussell 5 years, 8 months ago

I contacted a winery in California just last week and they still say they cannot ship to Kansas. It could be they have not received the information yet, so you probably need to check with the individual winery.

ScottyMac 5 years, 8 months ago

Jimo says: "The fact remains that Kansas liquor laws unconstitutionally step on Congress' exclusive constitutional power to regulate commerce (all commerce) among the States."

Except for intoxicating liquors. The Twenty-First Amendment explicitly exempts alcohol from the Commerce Clause, and thereby gives the individual states the full power to regulate it. Hence the wacky inconsistent liquor laws that exist from state to state.

Jimo 5 years, 8 months ago

Scotty - true, the 21st Amendment reserves a special analysis for alcoholic beverages but is untrue that alcohol is "exempted" from the Commerce Clause or that states are free to "fully" regulate it.

"State regulation of alcohol is limited by the nondiscrimination principle of the Commerce Clause" as the Supreme Court ruled in 2005 on this precise point, forcing states to adopt uniform approaches to "in state" and "out of state" alcohol regulations. Kansas continues to treat non-Kansas alcohol purchases differently and in a discriminatory and prohibitive manner (and the Legislature knows it, hence, the escape clause for if - when - the courts strike down this latest statute). When Kansas starts charging $50 as a "fee" to purchase from a Kansas liquor store or limiting total annual wine purchases from Alvins or wherever to no more than a dozen cases then there'll be parity.

Side trivia: Kansas has never ratified the 21st Amendment (not that this has an effect).

Commenting has been disabled for this item.