I have some good news. The NYS Senate Bill I was trying to get passed was recently approved, and will be made into Law by June 2010. This will make legal everything I have been doing for the past 4 years. What this means for the Grape Co-op is we can make wine from grapes at Lakeland Winery and take it home for your own personal consumption. It can not be sold under the name of the Co-op. In other words, the label must say, “Bottled and produced by Lakeland Winery”. Lakeland Winery must show the revenue and collect taxes on that wine. I think unless the Co-op gets a license to sell and produce wine, the co-op members can not technically assist in the production of wine I will sell to the public. I hope this is clear about how the State may interpret the law.
Senate Bill #3602: Section 76 of the alcoholic beverage control law is amended by adding a new subdivision 7 is added to read as follows: 7. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, a winery licensed pursuant to this section may engage in custom crush wine production allowing individuals to assist in the production of wine for sale for personal or family use provided, however, that (a) the wine must be purchased by the individual assisting in the production of such wine and (b) the owner, employee or agent of such winery shall be present at all times. Andy