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More Regulations for Ohio Wine Producers

Home Forums General Columbus Discussion More Regulations for Ohio Wine Producers

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  • #82141
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    More regulations for wine producers

    By MICHAEL ARTHUR

    Associate editor

    http://newsdemocrat.com

    Although no one is disputing the need to ensure quality and safety in food and drink products, a recent push by the Ohio Department of Agriculture to step up its inspections of the state’s wine wholesalers has some local business owners concerned.

    Wine producers in the area have been working with state legislators to obtain more information about the inspections and the potential ramifications for southern Ohio’s wine industry, and other small agricultural operations as well.

    READ MORE : http://newsdemocrat.com/main.asp?Search=1&ArticleID=131002&SectionID=1&SubSectionID=1&S=1

    #380664
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    Below is the reaction to story by Nancy Bentley (Owner/Managing Partner of Kinkead Ridge in Southern Ohio) who sent this out via email to wholesale customers:

    This article appeared in our local paper this week. The Ohio Dept. of Agriculture wants to inspect wineries as “Food Service Producers” for food safety. Something that even California exempts wineries from, since nothing in wine is harmful to humans. No pathogenic bacteria can live in wine. Two big questions: the Ohio law exempts wineries that only retail from their wineries. It does NOT exempt wine wholesaler warehouses. But guess what: wine wholesalers contribute a huge amount of money to Columbus legislators. Let’s just see if the wholesale warehouses wind up being inspected. Even if every Ohio winery paid a $300 fee for inspection, that would result in only $30,000 in income for Ohio. It will be much less than that. So what is this all about? It’s about extending an overbloated Ohio Dept. of Agriculture bureaucracy. What is the salary of the “inspector”? What are his/her costs in travel on the road. Ohio honey and sorghum and maple syrup producers have been exempted from these inspections. Ohio needs to follow the national lead of states like California and exempt wineries.

    Kinkead Ridge moved to Ohio in 1998 with a few goals: prove that vinifera could be grown successfully here and mentor other growers and create an agri-tourist destination in an area that was developed by Nicholas Longworth, the father of American wine, in the 1800s. Ohio under the current Strickland administration has done nothing but strangle small business. We had to pay $250 for “new” label registrations for wines we’ve produced for 10 years because they were over 14% alcohol… wines that are approved by the federal government for free. The Ohio bureaucracy “rubber stamps” these wines. We bought a building in Ripley to turn into a tasting room on the Ohio Scenic Byway, which would have totally revitalized this wonderful historic area, famous in the Underground Railroad period. Due to Ohio bureaucratic overreach, and the fact that we could not get “auxiliary tasting rooms” approved (something very common in other states), we have sold the building. We will not invest one more dime in Ohio. It’s sad. We will relocate to some state that is more friendly to vineyards and wineries.

    Nancy Bentley, Owner/Managing Partner
    Kinkead Ridge, an Estate Winery
    http://www.KinkeadRidge.com

    #380665

    KSquared
    Member

    Wow, this seems like complete bullshit on the state’s part. I’m interested to read what Andrew Hall thinks about this.

    #380666

    Rockmastermike
    Participant

    KSquared wrote >>
    Wow, this seems like complete bullshit on the state’s part. I’m interested to read what Andrew Hall thinks about this.

    I’m guessing he’s going to say it’s bullshit on a stick.

    #380667

    Andrew Hall
    Member

    KSquared wrote >>
    Wow, this seems like complete bullshit on the state’s part. I’m interested to read what Andrew Hall thinks about this.

    That it is complete bullshit on the State’s part.

    Sadly it is just another example of Ohio’s ill-thought and stupid policies. Instead of a creating a climate that encourages business within a realm of compliance, there is either outright hostility and agencies acting for their own ends.

    The real nut on this one is that major wine-producing states like CA and WA have no regs on the books like this. You’d think people drafting these regs would look at successful states as models.

    A.

    #380668

    Anonymous
    Inactive

    The department of Agriculture and department of Liquor Control both have jurisdiction in breweries and I sure haven’t found the department of Ag an impediment. While alcohol does prevent pathogens, the idea of trying to wash insecticides off of wine grapes doesn’t necessarily seem like a bad idea to me…

    #380669

    Anonymous
    Inactive

    The department of Agriculture and department of Liquor Control both have jurisdiction in breweries and I sure haven’t found the department of Ag an impediment. While alcohol does prevent pathogens, the idea of trying to wash insecticides off of wine grapes doesn’t necessarily seem like a bad idea to me…

    #380670

    gramarye
    Participant

    Sight unseen, I’m generally going to be with Andrew on this: To the extent that our regulatory environment is different than California’s and other places who have seen their wine industries flourish, why reinvent the wheel? (Particularly when we’re apparently reinventing it as some kind of trapezoid?) It would be different if there were reports of massive health problems among drinkers of California wines, but considering how many gallons of California wine are consumed every year, you’d think if there were going to be health problems with it, they’d have materialized by now.

    #380671

    Jim Lauwers
    Participant

    Walker wrote >>
    nothing in wine is harmful to humans.

    …I can think of at least one thing. Maybe two.

    As for the complaint that the federal government doesn’t care whether your wine is over 14% and that re-labeling was an example of unnecessary state meddling: “Wines containing 7% to 14% alcohol can be labeled just “table wine” or “light wine,” as opposed to listing the alcohol content, under federal regulations. When a percentage is listed it can be off by up to 1.5%” … “Wines over 14% alcohol, which fall into a higher tax category, must list alcohol levels with a tolerance of plus or minus 1%.” (Source)

    Finally, the claim that this is an attempt to waste money for the sake of wasting money is just stupid and barely even deserves a response. “What is the salary of the “inspector”? What are his/her costs in travel on the road[?]” I don’t know, and apparently Mrs. Bentley doesn’t either. But a lack of that data doesn’t prove that there’s some kind of ill-thought-out conspiracy to rob Ohio wineries in order to fatten the pockets of an inspector who hasn’t even been hired.

    #380672

    Andrew Hall
    Member

    0Angle wrote >>
    The department of Agriculture and department of Liquor Control both have jurisdiction in breweries and I sure haven’t found the department of Ag an impediment. While alcohol does prevent pathogens, the idea of trying to wash insecticides off of wine grapes doesn’t necessarily seem like a bad idea to me…

    I can’t name a single winery of quality that washes the grapes except in really rare circumstances.

    A.

    #380673

    Andrew Hall
    Member

    JimL2 wrote >>

    Walker wrote >>
    nothing in wine is harmful to humans.

    …I can think of at least one thing. Maybe two.
    As for the complaint that the federal government doesn’t care whether your wine is over 14% and that re-labeling was an example of unnecessary state meddling: “Wines containing 7% to 14% alcohol can be labeled just “table wine” or “light wine,” as opposed to listing the alcohol content, under federal regulations. When a percentage is listed it can be off by up to 1.5%” … “Wines over 14% alcohol, which fall into a higher tax category, must list alcohol levels with a tolerance of plus or minus 1%.” .

    Not wholly accurate here. KR always labels their wines with exact alcohol content and there is no separate TTB approval even if higher taxes need be paid.

    Separate from the TTB requirements, the State requires label approval for sale in Ohio. In this case, the state said that a new label approval (and fee for such) was required.

    So it was a State matter.

    A.

    #380674

    Jim Lauwers
    Participant

    Andrew Hall wrote >>
    The real nut on this one is that major wine-producing states like CA and WA have no regs on the books like this. You’d think people drafting these regs would look at successful states as models.

    I have a problem with this line of thinking, as well. California’s wine industry is huge, so I have to imagine it has a significant impact on the way its wine-related legislature is written. That seems like the worst possible situation to have when talking about safety regulations.

    #380675

    KSquared
    Member

    JimL2 wrote >>

    Andrew Hall wrote >>
    The real nut on this one is that major wine-producing states like CA and WA have no regs on the books like this. You’d think people drafting these regs would look at successful states as models.

    I have a problem with this line of thinking, as well. California’s wine industry is huge, so I have to imagine it has a significant impact on the way its wine-related legislature is written. That seems like the worst possible situation to have when talking about safety regulations.

    Right, all those people getting sick from wine borne illness.

    #380676

    Andrew Hall
    Member

    JimL2 wrote >>

    Andrew Hall wrote >>
    The real nut on this one is that major wine-producing states like CA and WA have no regs on the books like this. You’d think people drafting these regs would look at successful states as models.

    I have a problem with this line of thinking, as well. California’s wine industry is huge, so I have to imagine it has a significant impact on the way its wine-related legislature is written. That seems like the worst possible situation to have when talking about safety regulations.

    Considering there is no demonstrated safety risk in Cali (or anywhere) which is being controlled by these regulations, how do you feel about regulations forbidding UFO landings in the vineyards? Such regulations have actual historical precedent and have proven highly successful in proactively solving the problem.

    A.

    #380677

    Jim Lauwers
    Participant

    Andrew Hall wrote >>
    [facts] So it was a State matter.

    Okay, I’ll retract that, thanks for the info. I wrongly assumed they set the 14% bar because of the federal guidelines.

    The tone of her email just got under my skin, I guess, so I’m playing defense here. Obviously I don’t have anything invested in wine production or local wine safety. They could make it out of 100% crushed dead bugs and peasant toenails and I’d never notice.

    But the Dept. of Ag. claims they’ve already been inspecting wineries without incident, they’re just expanding that. So to me it sounds like a whole lot of nothing, people complaining rather than talking to each other, complaining that a $50-$300 inspection fee and being forced to wash grapes (which may or may not be the case) will ruin their business.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 59 total)

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