New Law Allows Wine Tastings at Farmers Markets

Local residents and visitors enjoy lunch with their families at the Malibu Farmers Market.

A bill was approved by state legislators last week allowing farmers markets to hold wine and cider tastings.

Gov. Jerry Brown signed bill AB2488, with approval from the Assembly and the Senate of California, allowing wineries and cidermakers to serve samples, sell products and apply for a permit through the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

A permit is valid for up to 12 months after being issued and will cost $50. The permit is only valid once per week at one specified market per week. Growers are allowed to hold more than one permit, enabling them to sell and taste at multiple markets per week.

The wineries and cidermakers must follow a few rules before serving and while sampling at any market.

All wine and ciders must be made from products grown and bottled by the winery and the permit holder, a family member, or employee must handle the tastings. The sellers are not allowed to sell more than 5,000 gallons of wine annually and can only serve a customer three ounces per day.

Each farmers market must designate a tasting area with ropes or gates and approve tasting events.

Locally, several farmers markets are held weekly in the area, including Malibu, Pacific Palisades and Santa Monica.

Click here to read the full bill, AB2488.