The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

First US hemp winery to close its doors

America’s first and only winery producing hemp-infused wines has made the decision to close down, due to issues with federal regulators.

According to New York Upstate website, Sovereign Vines – which opened in 2017 – blends wines with terpene, an aromatic and flavourful extract found in the buds of the hemp plant. Terpene does not contain the psychoactive compounds found in marijuana – and it is also different from CBD.

The issue with the federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) involved questions over the approval of the formula that Sovereign Vines used to produce its 9,400 litres of wine per year. Plus, the federal regulations that make selling across state lines possible, says owner Kaelan Castetter.

“Unfortunately this is the end of our journey – for now,” Sovereign Vines posted on Facebook. “The FDA does not intend to allow any sort of hemp extracts in beverages, regardless of the fact our wine has not cannabinoids. Because of this, we have decided to close our business.”

Sovereign Vines still has a state license and some inventory to sell, but will not produce more wine. Their varietals included a Cayuga White wine sourced from Glenora Vineyards on Seneca Lake, a Harvest Red Blend using California wine and both a sweet and a dry Rosé.