Tuesday, September 16, 2014

What is a Farm Winery?

A few weeks ago, the New York Department of Agriculture announced a decision aimed at helping farm wineries recover from the devastating Arctic Vortex event this past winter. This year, New York's farm wineries will be allowed to use out-of-state fruit to make their wines. Farm wineries in New York, by definition, must use 100% New York-grown fruit. Now, that may sound a bit draconian, but vintners have the choice of applying for a regular winery license or the more restrictive (and much cheaper) farm winery license. In addition to requiring 100% NY fruit, farm wineries are restricted to the amount of product they can sell. However, a farm winery may also "manufacture, bottle and sell fruit juice, fruit jellies and fruit preserves, tonics, salad dressings and unpotable wine sauces." Farm wineries can also operate "branch offices" (aka, tasting rooms).