On Wednesday, New York’s Governor David Paterson vetoed a bill, previously created by the State’s legislature, that would have allowed New York wineries to sell their wine at food festivals without a fee. The Governor rejected the bill reasoning that its reference to “food festivals” was vague and not properly defined. In addition, Paterson argued that the bill excluded winery and vineyard owners from the permit fee, but still required others (such as microbreweries and other alcoholic beverage producers) to pay the fee. Under its current law, New York wineries and vineyards can obtain a permit that allows them to offer tastings and sell bottles of wine at festivals, but wineries and vineyards cannot sell wine by the glass or for consumption.
In rejecting the food festival bill, Paterson emphasized his desire to support the sale of wine at local grocery stores throughout the state, believing this modification could bring the state $300 million annually in licensing fees, as well as raise state tax revenue. Last month, State legislatures rejected Paterson’s proposal to sell wine in grocery and other food stores. Legislatures, however, are still eager to edit the food festival bill to meet the demands of the Governor.