Nevada Winery Law Revised: More Locations and More Beverage Selection Allowed

Provisions of a bill boosting Nevada’s wineries were voted into law nearly unanimously on May 21 in the state legislature. Portions of Assembly Bill 375, which was declared dead after failing in its policy committee, found new life inserted into a separate bill that regulates relationships between distributors and alcohol producers.

Under the revised statute, wineries will be able to serve other alcohol in their tasting rooms. They will also be allowed to “operate from noncontiguous locations,” allowing production facilities to be on a separate site from tasting rooms.

Artesian Cellars proprietor Tim Burke told lawmakers during a March 9 hearing that allowing wineries to move production offsite would free up space for customers in the tasting rooms, making the businesses more profitable.

Owners at Nevada Sunset Winery and Engine 8 Urban Winery in Sparks both said they have no current plans to shop for a second location.

Provisions from the original bill that would have doubled case production limits were not part of the revisions to existing law. The increase would have allowed 2,000 cases before requiring a Nevada-grown fruit quota of 25 percent.

The case limit and its link to in-state fruit content appeared to be broadly misunderstand by members of the legislative committee. It also deepened a rift among the state’s commercial winemakers, who disagree on the number of cases that should be exempt from Nevada’s in-state fruit requirement.

The revisions to Nevada winery law (NRS 597.240) will become effective on July 1, 2021.

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