Vermont eases wine, spirits sales law

Vermont winemakers and distillers got good news Tuesday when Gov. Jim Douglas signed a bill allowing them to sell more products on-site.

Previously, wineries could offer tastings or sell bottles of wine. Distilleries could do neither.

Now, wineries also may sell glasses of wine on-premises, and distilleries can offer tastings and sell bottles of their spirits.

In addition, wineries will be allowed to sell and offer tastings of other winemakers' wares, rent their sites for events such as weddings, and produce and sell fortified wines such as ports.

Vermont's first winery was founded 25 years ago, and the state now is home to 20.

Ed Metcalfe, of Whitingham, told the Associated Press he was on the fence about opening a distillery in Vermont if he couldn't sell his vodka and specialty liquors on site. He said the new law cinched it for him, allowing him to sell and offer tastings at the distillery he plans in Marlboro.

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