Archive for Thursday, June 7, 2012

Changes to Kansas liquor laws could prove beneficial to the state’s wineries

June 7, 2012


A first of its kind wine tasting festival in Kansas will be held June 16 in De Soto at Riverfest Park.

“This is a new ballgame,” said Patrick Guilfoyle, city administrator of De Soto and an advocate of Kansas wines.

During the recently completed legislative session, Gov. Sam Brownback signed a wide-ranging mix of changes to the state’s alcoholic beverage laws.

One of those is known as the “De Soto Law” that will allow visitors at wine tasting festivals to taste wine samples and buy bottles of those same wines at the tasting event. Prior to this law’s enactment, wine tasting visitors would have to travel directly to the wineries to purchase those same wines.

Guilfoyle said that was a big obstacle for the state’s wineries.

The measure took effect May 31, so the Winesong at Riverfest will be the first wine tasting event to take advantage of the new law, and 14 Kansas wineries will be represented at the festival.

A short ride to Winesong is a “no-brainer,” Guilfoyle said, noting that a round-trip to those 14 Kansas wineries would be 335 miles.

Tickets to Winesong are $15 each and include 10 wine samplings a souvenir wine glass and appetizers from local food vendors.

Greg Shipe, who with his wife, Charlee Glinka, own and operate Davenport Orchard, Vineyard and Winery just west of Eudora, will be one of those at the festival.

Shipe said the new provision will “help pay for the expense to go to these places,” he said. Before, he said, they would be invited to events and couldn’t make any money at them.

The festival is providing a refrigerated truck to store cases of wine.

Several other major changes in alcohol regulations were approved by the Legislature this session, including one that is designed to lure a dinner train business to the area. These changes take effect July 1.

Under one provision, dinner railway cars can obtain a liquor license. Rep. TerriLois Gregory, R-Baldwin City, said the measure was aimed at luring a Nebraska dinner train business to operate between Baldwin City and Ottawa.

Other provisions of the new law allow:

• Drinking establishments to offer “Happy Hour” specials. Previously, bars could offer special drink prices, but those charges had to last all day.

• Micro-distilleries to sell and serve their products on their premises.

• Liquor stores to offer free tastings of beer, wine and alcohol to their customers.


Cant_have_it_both_ways 5 years, 9 months ago

I wish them luck as Kansas has one of the worst climates for growing grapes.

lazydazy 5 years, 9 months ago

Think so? Check out how locals from Kansas & Missouri helped rebuild the European Vineyards in the 1870"s. German settlers have been growing grapes in Hermann,Mo since 1837.In Kansas-- Growing Grapes & In Missouri-- Interesting. ;)

Cant_have_it_both_ways 5 years, 9 months ago

Nothing wrong with Hermann, nothing at all. I have yet to taste a Kansas wine (Made from grapes) that is good. I don't think you could poor Somerset Ridges wines on shorts and get the pigs to eat them. Wildwoods elderberry wine(s) are nice as is their spice wine, other than that any of the rest of the ones I have sampled in Kansas are just not good.

Joe Hyde 5 years, 9 months ago

If you haven't done so yet, give Holy-Field winery a try. It's located just west of Basehor on US-24 Highway (north side).

I'm pretty much partial to reds and Holy-Field's "Tailgate Red" is really good stuff. If you like reds. I don't know much about their other wines; sorry.

lazydazy 5 years, 9 months ago

Sorry local wines aren't your thing. Do check out Holy-Field, but Blue Jacket Crossing is closer. They both have live entertainment from time to time. You can bring your own food, buy (sample FREE) their wine & have a good time. They do have a nice tasting room & beautiful land to look at. How relaxing!!

MarcoPogo 5 years, 9 months ago

Wow, Kansas passed these liquor laws? slaps head in amazement

somedude20 5 years, 9 months ago

Now we just need to get Christina Hendricks to be the state bird and boy, we will be set!

lazydazy 5 years, 9 months ago

How nice for our Local Wineries!!! What a boost for their business. Davenport, Holy Fields & (the best one, we feel) Blue Jacket Crossing, are Beautiful Wineries to visit. Check out their websites, you can listen to live music at some. Makes for a relaxing summer day.

sk_in_ks 5 years, 9 months ago

Anybody know of a good locally-produced (Kansas or Missouri) mead? I like the one from Oliver Winery (Bloomington, IN) but would buy local if there were a good source. I know we have many honey producers around here!

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