Festival wine bottle sales uncorkedCannon Falls Wine and Art Festival attendees will now not only be able to sample local wines, but also can take some home for the first time.
By: Danielle Killey, The Republican Eagle
Cannon Falls Wine and Art Festival attendees will now not only be able to sample local wines, but also can take some home for the first time.
Wineries represented at the festival will be able to sell wine by the bottle this year after a change in state law. This will be the first festival in the state to take advantage of the new option, festival chairman Keith Smiley said.
Last year Sen. John Howe introduced legislation to try to allow sales of wine by both the glass and bottle at festivals. The glass sales were approved then, but bottle sales were not.
“He was pretty tenacious and went back again this year,” Smiley said.
And it was successful. Legislation was passed and signed by Gov. Mark Dayton allowing bottles sales at festivals as well.
Minnesota law had previously only allowed for wine sales on wineries’ properties and not off-site, except for liquor stores.
This is the Cannon Falls Wine and Art Festival’s third year. The first year, wine was only available through a tasting.
There is a two-glass and six-bottle limit per person on festival sales, which Smiley said he hopes will be eliminated in the future once people realize “this is not a big threat to local liquor stores.”
“It’s one day a year we’re able to sell off-sale products like this. The rest of the year it actually gets people’s interest increased in local Minnesota wines and maybe looking to find them at liquor stores,” he said. “We’re hoping down the road to convince everyone that the limit’s not necessary.”
During the festival, organizers will have to monitor the various wineries involved to make sure they are abiding by the limits.
There are two wine associations in Minnesota — the Minnesota Grape Growers Association, which is licensing the Cannon Falls festival, and the Minnesota Farm Winery Association. Each association can only allow one festival per year to sell wine by the glass and bottle, Smiley said.
In the past the festival has drawn about 5,000 attendees, and with increased advertising and award-winning acts such as the Cactus Blossoms performing at the largely free event, Simley said organizers hope to bring even more visitors to the area this year.
The event takes place at Hannah’s Bend Park in Cannon Falls from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, with wine tastings from 12 to 4 p.m. each day.
Musical entertainment on the schedule for Saturday is Trinichad from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Glider with Dave Hagedorn from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. and the Cactus Blossoms from 3:30 to 6 p.m. Mark Stillman will perform 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday.
If you go…
What: Cannon Falls Wine and Art Festival
When: July 21 and 22, art festival 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., wine tasting 12-4 p.m.
Where: Hannah’s Bend Park, Cannon Falls
Cost: Free to attend the festival; wine tasting $20