Wine sales, tastings allowed at market

GEORGE EHRLER OF Blue Moon Estate Winery displays his award-winning product at the mid-week Farmers’ Market in downtown Courtenay.  - Scott Stanfield
GEORGE EHRLER OF Blue Moon Estate Winery displays his award-winning product at the mid-week Farmers’ Market in downtown Courtenay.
— image credit: Scott Stanfield

The Comox Valley Farmers' Market Association has received the green light to allow vendors to sell liquor and to host wine and beer tastings.

"It's a long time coming for some of us," Market Manager Vickey Brown said Monday. "It's pretty controlled tastings. You're only allowed a certain number of ounces for samplings. It's an opportunity for our local wineries to promote their product and introduce their product, and people shopping more locally, even for liquor."

Revised liquor laws came into effect last month, allowing beer and wine sales at festivals and farmers’ market, but wineries have been limited to promoting products until the association could sort out details with local governments.

Blue Moon Estate Winery will be selling its award-winning fruit wines and cider at the local farmers' market. Owners of the winery at Nature’s Way Farm expect the legislative changes will help their bottom line.

"It's all good," said George Ehrler, Blue Moon co-owner along with his wife Marla Limousin. "It's good for the Valley, good for the farmers, good for the customers.

"This time of year, you're getting the tourist component and the regular locals," he added, in reference to the market. "Even the exposure, just on the display side for the tourists, is great."

Coastal Black Estate Winery and Hornby Island Estate Winery have also applied to sell alcohol at market.

This Saturday during MusicFest, the Farmers' Market will be held at the Comox Valley Sports Centre from 9 a.m. to noon.

Summer markets also run on the third Thursday of the month on Comox Avenue, and Wednesdays from 9 a.m to 1 p.m. on England Avenue in downtown Courtenay.


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