Late last month, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation into law that will allow farm stands to sell wine—a boon for East End vineyards as well as the farm stands themselves.
However, roadside farm stands will be limited to only selling bottles from two vineyards that are within 20 miles of the stand. If there are more than two vineyards within 20 miles of a farm stand—which is the case on much of the North Fork—the stand will have to choose.
The new law came in a package of legislation benefiting the wine industry, including the creation, expansion and renaming of designated wine trails along state highways.
“These new laws will build on our continuing efforts to promote New York’s wine industry across the state and beyond, boosting tourism, local economies and job growth,” Cuomo said. “We are increasing market opportunities for local producers and farmers and expanding our wine trails to attract tourists to communities across Upstate New York. Our state is home to hundreds of wineries that produce some of the best wine in the world, and we want both New Yorkers and visitors to come and enjoy them.”
Not all farm stand owners will be jumping at the opportunity. Adam Halsey of Halsey Farm and Nursery in Water Mill said he has no interest in wine sales. The farm will remain focused on bringing their customers fresh fruit and vegetables, he said.