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New York Corks Food Festival Wine Sales Bill

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.

(Source: Paterson Vetoes Letting New York Wineries Sell At Food Festivals.)

For more information on New York State wine or alcohol law, or establishing a winery, brewery, or distillery in New York, please contact Lindsey Zahn.

DISCLAIMER: This blog post is for general information purposes only, is not intended to constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship results. Please consult your own attorney for legal advice.

Lindsey A. Zahn


Lindsey is the founder and author of On Reserve: A Wine Law Blog. She is an alcohol beverage and food attorney and is admitted to the New York State Bar.

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