September 29, 2017
The Senate Committee on Agriculture, Small Business and Tourism has scheduled a vote on Senate Bill 311, which allows wineries to stay open until midnight. The Tavern League of Wisconsin is opposed to this bill which will negatively impact Wisconsin’s mom & pop taverns and gives unfair advantage to wine manufacturers. Wineries should not get special carve outs in the law to give them an unfair advantage over other retailers!!
State law currently provides wineries with a retail license as a way to allow them the ability to sample their products for customers. It was never the intent of the law to allow wineries to become full retail establishments. By their own admission, however, wineries are trying to expand their retail operations. Many are currently serving beer in violation of the law. They want to begin hosting special events such as weddings, they want the ability to open additional retail establishments and obtain full liquor licenses.
The majority of wineries in the Napa Valley close their doors at 5:00 PM. Why? Because they recognize that they are manufacturers and tourist destinations, not on-premise retail locations. Their goal is to make world-class wine and sample it to their customers – not compete with a local sports bar.