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California new laws allow wineries more flexibility in marketing, philianthrophy

Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed three bills that will relax restrictions for wineries on opening an extra tasting room, pouring wine into consumer containers and promoting charitable contributions.

These laws take effect Jan. 1, 2022.

On Sept. 23, Newsom signed Senate Bill 19, which doubles the number of off-site tasting rooms a winery can open to two, according to an announcement from his office.

Previously, type 02 license holders could have only one duplicate type 02 license location, according to Napa-based law firm Dickenson Peatman & Fogarty.

On Sept. 22, Newsom signed Assembly bills 239, which allow staff at off-site tasting rooms to fill consumer containers, and 1267, which permits vintners and other beverage alcohol producers to note that they will be donating a portion of the purchase price to a charity or nonprofit.

AB 239 will allow type 02 license holders to also pour wine into consumers’ containers such as bottles or jugs at duplicate license locations, the law firm noted. That’s what wineries have been able to do at their production facilities going back decades.

The new law deletes an exception in Section 23390 of the state Alcoholic Beverage Control Act for filling off site.

While wineries have been able to donate to charity already, they have been barred from giving a gift or “thing of value,” as that is considered an enticement to consume, according to Dickenson Peatman & Fogarty. The mention that part of a wine sale would be a charitable contribution has been considered such a gift.

AB 1267 expands and puts into law, with a number of conditions, a pandemic allowance for winegrowers, breweries, distilleries and other similar permit holders to make such mentions.

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