Sonoma County officials are considering allowing wineries to sell wine and spirits at their tasting rooms.
The proposal is a step forward for Sonoma’s wine scene, which has been plagued by problems in recent years.
It also puts an end to a dispute over whether the county should be responsible for regulating the wineries’ operations.
Sonoma County Commissioner Chris D’Amico told the Sonoma Democrat that the county would consider opening tasting rooms as long as they complied with the rules of the Wine Code.
That would allow for sales of both wines and spirits.
D’Ammico said that he’s open to allowing wine and spirit sales if they do comply with state and county wine laws.
Sonoma’s wineries have had problems in the past.
In 2012, a lawsuit was filed by the Wine Institute, a trade group that represents the nation’s top wineries.
In 2013, the Sonomac Valley Wine Council filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court, claiming the county violated state law by allowing winemakers to sell alcohol.
Sonoma officials say the lawsuit is unfounded and that the counties own laws do not permit wine and liquor sales at wineries that do not have a valid liquor license.
D’Amica said that the winery operators have been in touch with Sonoma City officials to find a solution.
The county is open to having the winemaker sell at the tasting rooms, he said.
The Sonoma Valley Wine Institute said it’s working with Sonomas city officials to develop a plan for how the winemaking industry can be managed.
The wineries are still awaiting approval from the county to open tasting rooms at their facilities.
The city would then have to approve a plan to allow wine and alcohol sales, D’Anno said.
The county’s new proposal would allow wineries located within its borders to open wineries within the county, and to have them sell wine at winery-operated tasting rooms for up to three months.
The plan would not apply to the vineyards that the vineyard owners have already closed.
D’Ano said that Sonoma city officials have been working with the wineworks to address the wine industry’s concerns.
Diamanti said that since the new proposal was approved, there has been an uptick in calls from Sonoma Wine Institute members to the Sonomas City Council.
A city council committee will consider the winesemaking proposal at its April 17 meeting.
Sonomas wine industry representatives say they are hopeful that the council will approve the wineess, but have expressed frustration at the lack of coordination among county and state wine agencies.
The wine industry is trying to work with the county and other state and local agencies to develop solutions to wine-specific regulations.
In a letter to the county commissioners, the Wine Industry Association of California (WIACA) said that, while Sonoma has “been in good standing with our federal and state governments for years,” it remains in an uncertain position.
The WIACA said that while Sonomas wineries do comply closely with all Wine Code requirements, it remains to be seen if Sonoma can be truly “part of the solution.”WINE CODE ISSUES: