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Lawmakers OK Wine Tasting At Farmers Markets

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LANSING (AP) - Small winemakers could offer tastings and sell their wine at farmers markets around Michigan under legislation nearing final approval in Lansing.

The bill set to be sent to Gov. Rick Snyder by the Senate Wednesday would require winemakers wanting to do business at a farmers market to pay $25 for a permit.

The bill would limit the tastings and sales to winemakers who produce 5,000 gallons of wine a year or less, which trims the list of eligible vineyards to about 60 of the state’s 100-plus winemakers. At the farmers market, each person would be limited to three 2-ounce samples of wine.

Another measure scheduled for final passage would let regular bars and restaurants fill growlers of craft beer for patrons to consume elsewhere. Current law only allows brewpubs and microbreweries to refill growlers for off-site consumption.

Supporters of the bills say they will cater to growing industries in Michigan. Some concern has been raised about expanding access to alcohol, but the legislation has drawn overwhelming support from lawmakers.

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