No silly I’m not talking about that…get your mind out of the 60’s! What I’m talking about is home winemaking. With all the tools out there today at our fingertips, almost anyone with the proper mixture of knowledge, passion, and tools can make their own wine. Not to say that it is going to wow all the neighbors and score you an 86 at the next tasting, but hey, at least you did it! And in California all the neighbors make their own wine, and then have nice little friendly competitions. However, according to this article, these little competitions and home tastings might not be quite legal. Unless the vintner is producing less than 200 gallons a year for their own consumption, it’s illegal.
So what do we think about this? Personally, I feel like it is just a formality that California feel like it needs to have in place. After doing some research on the rule, it seems that the only time the rule is really acted upon is when someone says something to the Department of Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) or when a winemaker themselves asks for permission out of naivety. It’s like the code I had with my older brother when I was younger…”Well I won’t say anything if you don’t say anything” and vice versa.
The reason I bring this up is because one winemaker did ask, and got shut down by the ABC. An out of towner, who didn’t know the code. So what do we do in this situation? I do agree that there needs to be some sort of regulation, but what is the point of having a rule if everyone breaks it? Rules without enforcement are no rules at all. So where does the ABC go from here? Tell me your thoughts.