The Buzz: Jerry Brown signs bill allowing wine tasting at farmers markets

July 8, 2014 

Winegrowers who bottle their wine, such as Castello di Amorosa in Napa Valley, can hold instructional tastings at farmers markets under a bill signed by Tuesday by the governor.

MANNY CRISOSTOMO — Sacramento Bee file

  • Health watch

    California small businesses will be allowed to keep health insurance plans that don’t conform to the federal Affordable Care Act through next year. The urgency measure signed by Gov. Jerry Brown brings the state into line with a federal policy that lets small employers continue to offer noncompliant plans. Senate Bill 1446 was authored by Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, and sponsored by Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones.

    – Christopher Cadelago

Wine tasting at farmers markets now legal

Californians can start sipping wine at farmers markets.


Gov. Jerry Brown announced Tuesday he has signed an urgency measure allowing winegrowers who bottle their own wine to conduct instructional tastings at California’s numerous farmers markets. Assembly Bill 2488, by Assemblyman Marc Levine, D-San Rafael, was approved by both houses of the Legislature without dissent.

The bill expands a provision of state law allowing the sale of estate-grown wine at farmers markets. Wine industry groups said the inability to offer samples hurt sales in an industry in which customers are accustomed to a taste.

Brown, a Democrat, signed the legislation without comment. It was one of 10 bills the governor announced signing Tuesday.

The measure requires wine tasting areas to be separated from the rest of the farmers market by a rope or other barrier, and it limits tastings to 3 ounces per patron per day.

Proponents of the bill said it would help small wineries build their brands. Opponents included the California Council on Alcohol Problems, according to a legislative analysis.

– David Siders

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