We run the risk of overstating the case, but the City Council has before it an ordinance of little controversy and wide consensus.
The new rule would allow area grape growers and wineries to sell their products at the City Market. At a time when area wineries are attracting increasing interest and turning out larger quantities of quality wine, the move represents a welcome improvement — for consumers and the local wine industry.
Missouri farms and wineries that bottle their own product will have the opportunity to stock a market booth and perhaps expand their customer base. Under the measure, vendors must have a state-issued “retail liquor by the drink license in conjunction with a wine manufacturer license” and must also have “an approved state and city catering permit.”
Under the existing law, farmers and wineries could only offer samples but not sell their wine.
Spurred on by this development, the Missouri Wine and Grape Board, which counts more than 125 wineries in the state, has signed on as a market sponsor, according to Meghan Buum, the City Market’s marketing manager. In its booth, the board plans to feature one Missouri winery a month. The new policy will allow the market to keep up with other farmers markets in the region.
Missouri once held the distinction of being one of the most prolific wine states. Prohibition put an end to that, and it has only been in recent years that wine makers have made great strides in restoring quality vineyards and creating products of distinction.
This City Market venture will help spread that word.
The council will take up the measure on Thursday, and presumably pass it. We’ll raise a glass to that.