The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Proposed Bill will support wine tourism in New Zealand: NZ Winegrowers

New Zealand Winegrowers says it is thrilled the Sale and Supply of Alcohol (Cellar Door Tasting) Amendment Bill, proposed by Stuart Smith MP, has been drawn from the Member’s Bill Ballot this week.

New Zealand Winegrowers has had longstanding concerns about aspects of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act as they apply to winery cellar doors. This Bill would help to address some of their key concerns for wineries.

NZ Winegrowers says winery cellar doors are an important part of wine tourism, yet the current legislation does not permit wineries holding an off-licence to charge for tastings.

“The current legislation is out of date,” says Philip Gregan, CEO of New Zealand Winegrowers.

“It either forces wineries to give wine away for free, or forces them to go through significant cost and time to acquire and maintain a separate on-licence.

Philip Gregan

“We are hopeful that through the parliamentary process we can get modern, fit for purpose legislation that will support wine tourism in the winemaking regions throughout Aotearoa New Zealand.

“Winery cellar doors have been hit hard by the collapse in international tourist numbers over the past two years.

“This regulatory change would ensure that they can continue to provide exemplary winery cellar door services to both domestic and international tourists, without unnecessary extra red-tape.”

Gregan says with more than 600 small wineries in New Zealand, this will make a big difference, and will encourage more cellar doors to open for the enjoyment of returning international wine tourists.

“Additionally, by allowing charging for tastings, the industry sees this as consistent with the low-risk winery cellar door licensing status and supporting responsible consumption.”

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