May 16, 2008
FARM WINERIES AND BRANDY
By: Daniel Duffy, Principal Analyst
You asked if An Act Concerning Wine Festivals (SB 519) would have eliminated the right of a farm winery to make brandy and, if so, why.
The bill, which passed the Senate but not the House, would not have eliminated a farm winery's legal right to make and sell brandy. Section 30-16(e) establishes the farm winery permit. Relating to brandy, the law allows a farm winery permit holder to make it, sell it for on- or off-premises consumption, and offer free tastings to prospective customers on the farm.
SB 519 created a wine festival permit. The bill reported favorably by the General Law Committee would have allowed holders of a wine festival permit to sell wine or brandy at the festival. The Senate amended the bill on April 30 to eliminate the provision that allowed farm wineries to sell brandy at the festival. Senator Colapietro, when introducing the amendment in the Senate, simply stated that “brandy” was being removed “because this is a wine bill.”
The relevant portion of the April 30 Senate transcript is enclosed.