Del. Winery Says Allowing Alcohol at Farmer's Markets Would Help - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Del. Winery Says Allowing Alcohol at Farmer's Markets Would Help Business

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Nassau Valley Vineyards (Photo: WBOC) Nassau Valley Vineyards (Photo: WBOC)

LEWES, Del.- A Delaware House bill that would allow alcohol at farmer's markets was recently voted out of the House agriculture committee, and some say it would be beneficial to all local manufacturers.

No grapes are being fermented in the middle of winter, but locally-owned Nassau Valley Vineyards in Lewes sells wine year-round. Peggy Raley-Ward is the proprietor, and she said she's in support of House Bill 228, a bill that would allow small portions of alcohol to be sampled and sold at state farmer's markets.

She said it would help her distribution.

"Being able to sell at farmer's markets is just the obvious entry into being able to get our goods to market on a different level and get the consumer to truly understand that everything they're consuming," Raley-Ward said. "Even their beverages are local."

The bill would permit wineries, breweries and distilleries to sell their product as long as it is made in Delaware.

The farmer's markets would have to be on board as well. There are more than 20 in the state, and while many are in favor, some like the Lewes Farmer's Market aren't going to change anything yet.

According to representatives for the market, they have two big reasons for not selling alcohol. One being that alcohol isn't allowed in city parks, and the second being that they already have a lot of vendors.

Some people may question the safety of serving alcohol outdoors.

"Anytime that you that you bring tasting into the fold, when you're talking about alcohol, I mean certainly you're dealing with a lot of the farmer's markets are nonprofits and you know people start to worry about liability issues," Raley-Ward explained.

However, craft beer fan Bob Sutton said he thinks it is all positive.

"Most of the people who frequent these things are adults," he said. "I haven't seen a problem with over-usage of alcohol at these events."

The bill now heads to the Delaware House for discussion.

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