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Wine coming to farmers' market near you

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February 21, 2011
CHARLTON — Aficionados of local food may find their favorite farmers' markets featuring a different kind of local produce — wine.

Last August, the state approved allowing registered farm-wineries who go through the proper process to sell bottles of their beverages and offer up to five samples per customer at agricultural events. They do, however, need to get approval in advance from the market manager, local liquor board and the state.

"This doesn't apply to hobbyists making wine in their garages or liquor stores who just want to sell at a farmers' market," said David Webber of the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (DAR). He said it also doesn't apply to beer breweries or makers of other kinds of alcoholic beverages (although mead is considered "wine" and hard cider might be if in wine bottles). It also doesn't allow wineries to sell other wineries' products, only their own and only from Massachusetts sites.

"The original legislation did include beer and spirits, but that was taken out due to concerns from some legislators," he added.

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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