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Craft Distillers in The Commonwealth of Kentucky


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I have been working with my local legislator. I have also talked to the Governor's Council on Agriculture.

The largest blockade to farm distilleries and non-industrial class distilleries is the zoning requirements. Please help me in generating a demand for this class license which would primarily redefine distilling as an agricultural process.

Thank you.

You can see my effort so far at http://www.artisan-distiller.info/blog

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In New York, we have successfully lobbied for the development of a "Farm Distillery License". To do so, we hooked up with THE FARM BUREAU and pressed all the agricultural/tax/tourism/rural development, aspects of the proposal. We avoid speaking about the "alcohol" aspects and focus on the Farm aspects. This is a boon to local farmers both in the field (crops bought by distillers) and at the farm stand (farm spirits sales).

The bill is S7249, go to the NY State Senate site under "Bills and Laws" for the full text. Hope this helps. By the way, it took us four years to get it in place, then another year to get amendments in place to fix the problems with it ("problems" according to the SLA), do be prepared for the long haul. But hey, good things take time.

R

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I have been working with my local legislator. I have also talked to the Governor's Council on Agriculture.

The largest blockade to farm distilleries and non-industrial class distilleries is the zoning requirements. Please help me in generating a demand for this class license which would primarily redefine distilling as an agricultural process.

Thank you.

You can see my effort so far at http://www.artisan-distiller.info/blog

Sherman;

The figure most growers I've talked to use is 150 gal of

wine per ton of grapes. This works out to closer to 167 tons of grapes to

give 25000 gal of wine at about 13% ABV (depending on Brix).

I don't know the average yield per acre in KY, but 4 tons/acre would require a bit over

40 acres of vines. This may make your figures look a bit more attractive to

farmers.

Again, I don't know the cost of lower quality grapes there, but at

$800-$1200/ton, the total value in grapes is about $132,800-$199,200.

That works out to be $5-$8/gallon of wine (cost of goods). The winery also needs to make

a profit, so buying wine would cost a bit more.

The most recent study in CA (2008, UC Davis) suggest that the profitability per acre is poor right now, something like $1-2K/acre if I remember correctly (for average yield and price). This is roughly half the value of the grapes. Not sure what it's like in your area, or if that's enough to get anyone excited. I'm still trying to figure out the total costs in my area, but the rule-of thumb I've heard here is also half the sales price (after the initial investment), or about $2K/acre plus a bit.

At $1200/ton and 4tons/acre = $4800/acre, you can see how this works out close to the $2K/acre given by the recent UC Davis analysis. Vineyards smaller than 40 acres better be making wine (or brandy) to sell at 5x the cost if they want to make a profit!

As you can see, lower cost grapes would make the profitability even worse for the grower.

These are just some quick figures, your mileage may vary. :-)

Brett

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