Massachusetts wineries see sales boost from law giving them access to farmers’ markets

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Farmers market photo by Scott StevensonA number of Massachusetts wineries saw a boost in sales and other benefits thanks to a law that allows them to sell wine at farmer’s markets, according to a recent report.

In 2010, Massachusetts Gov. Patrick signed legislation into law that allowed licensed wineries to sell their product at approved farmers’ markets, festivals, and other agricultural events.

The law gave winemakers a boost. More than 34,000 bottles of wine were sold at 63 farmers’ markets and four agricultural fairs in 2011, bringing the wineries a combined $514,200.

The wineries reported an average overall sales increase of 66 percent.

The law did not just improve sales. The majority of wineries said being able to sell at farmers’ markets increased visitors at their winery and increased recognition for their wine.

The wineries said they planned to hire more employees, including 15 full-time and 6 part-time positions, thanks to the new law.

However, not everyone had glowing reports.

“Participated in only 1 market and it was not worth the time and money invested,” said one winery. “Market had a very low turnout and weather was a problem half the time. Hope to try other locations in the future.”

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