PHOENIX -- House Bill 2339 is a measure to allow more than one winemaker to use the same facilities to make wine. Dubbed Alternating Winemakers, the bill is a Verde Valley effort to support Maynard Keenan's proposal for co-op winemaking in an "incubator" fashion at his Four Eight Winery in Camp Verde.
The idea is that if a person grows or blends grapes, he would not need to own all the varied equipment to start-up and process the wine, and could reduce costs by leasing existing equipment locally.
The measure stalled in the early part of this session. Rep. Brenda Barton (R-Payson), who introduced the bill, explains that the governor extended a review and moratorium until 2014 on new rulemaking by state agencies that would prevent any new rules that would cost businesses money.
Since the alcohol industry is so highly regulated already, it is important to make sure the bill can pass muster during its first review, Barton said.
An alternative proprietors and custom crushing provisions are already included in the U.S. Department of Treasury Alcohol and Tobacco tax and Trade Bureau and similar rules have been adopted in California, Oregon, Washington and Michigan.
Barton says she has spoken with the Director of the Arizona Liquor Licenses and Control Alan Everett, and he is behind the proposal. Everett was a former councilman and mayor in Sedona.
Barton says the wording of the bill will be refined to satisfy state and federal requirements and will be re-introduced in January for the next session.
Posted: Friday, March 29, 2013
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I am so sorry to see this bill being sidelined. This could be a big boost to Camp Verde's intro into the wine business. In Oregon, this idea is common, and it has help both small vineyards and budding vintners. Imagine a winery that takes small lots of grapes in with a number of different vintners making wines. This is perfect for the Verde Valley where small vineyards on existing properties could find a buyer for their grapes. And we have seen the results of blending grapes. Page Spring's is especially astute and making wonderful wines off of blends.
We should applaud and support this legislative effort. I was suspect of the Republicans in this year's race. But this is a good idea. Thank you Brenda for supporting this effort!