The Monterey County Vintners & Growers Association is excited to announce Governor Newsom’s signing of AB 239 into law. This bill allows winery guests to bring their own wine bottles to be refilled at participating wineries off-site tasting rooms.
“AB 239 will help to expand business opportunities for family wineries, reduce consumer waste, and bring parity to our marketplace,” said Assemblymember Carlos Villapudua (D-Stockton), author of the legislation.
“This bill exemplifies California’s commitment to achieving its sustainability goals through creative and business-friendly ways,” said Assemblymember Robert Rivas (D-Salinas). “Our breweries have already demonstrated how effective growlers are at reducing consumer waste and expanding business—now it’s time to allow our wineries to do the same. I applaud the work of my colleague, Asm. Villapudua, and stakeholders like the Monterey County Vintners & Growers Association for their dedication in getting this bill passed.”
“As a winery owner, we love the idea of our wine club and community members being able to reuse and refill containers from the tasting room. This new law allows for a sustainable option to reduce waste in packaging, which is good for the environment, and our bottom line”, shared boutique winery co-owner and inspiration behind the legislation Heather Brand of I. Brand & Family Winery. “The old law had unnecessarily disadvantaged a growing contingent of the wine industry, those without land holdings or estate vineyards. I asked the simple question, ‘Why?’ of the right person at the right time. It is a testament to Kim Stemler of the Monterey County Vintners & Growers Association for working with the ABC leadership, our local and state industry partners, and Assemblymembers Rivas and Villapudua to create this legislation. The new law is great for the wine industry and demonstrates that the process does work.”
AB 239 attracted broad support from the California wine industry, including the California Association of Winegrape Growers, the Wine Institute, and sister wine regions throughout the state.
“This bill takes a commonsense approach to reduce waste through reuse and is an example of our industry’s proud commitment to sustainability,” said Michael Miiller, Director of Government Relations at the California Association of Winegrape Growers. “We thank Assemblymember Villapudua and the Monterey County Vintners & Growers Association for their forward-thinking leadership on this issue.”
A copy of the legislation can be found here: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=202120220AB239
This bill goes into effect on January 1, 2022. This privilege is only available to wine tasting rooms holding a Duplicate 02 Winegrower license, not wine bars or any other types of liquor license holders.
About Monterey County Vintners & Growers Association
Formed in 1973, the Monterey County Vintners & Growers’ Association (MCVGA) brings together the talents and resources of winegrowers, winemakers, and our extended community to promote and support leadership in the art, science, and business of wine. By standing together, we strengthen the Monterey Wine Country™ brand and bring awareness to the region. — By Kim Stemler, Monterey County Vintners & Growers Association