Hansen bill would encourage growth in Michigan wine industry

Sen. Goeff Hansen

Sen. Goeff Hansen

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Goeff Hansen has introduced legislation that would expand the number of Michigan wineries that can sell their product at farmers markets.

Senate Bill 1071 would enable small wine makers to produce up to 15,000 gallons of wine or hard cider per year and still qualify for these markets.

“Farmers market sales permits have aided the rise of many Michigan wineries,” said Hansen, R-Hart. “As this industry continues to grow, so too should the availability of these farmers market permits. Increasing the accessibility of this marketing opportunity will help these small businesses to thrive and contribute to our economy.”

Currently, if a small wine maker produces less than 5,000 gallons a year, they qualify for the sales permit, enabling them to sell their wine or hard cider at farmers markets.

Increasing the current threshold to 15,000 gallons will make approximately 50 more wineries across the state eligible for a farmers market permit.

“Fortunately, more wineries are reaching the 5,000 gallon limit,” Hansen said. “This bill will allow them to maintain market access as they produce more wine.”

The lawmaker said small wine maker permits are a valuable tool enabling wineries and cider makers to build relationships with their communities and establish their brand.

SB 1071 has been referred to the Senate Committee on Regulatory Reform.