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Should Wineries Have Food Service Inspections?

The short answer is, “No!” Although it would be a different matter if food inspectors knew about producing wine. Sadly, most inspectors have never made wine or understand the process of making wine. So when they come to inspecting the winery, they are likely to say something like, “You need to wash the grapes before making the wine to wash off the insects.” Really? Wine use to be made by having people stomp the grapes with their feet. Some wineries still follow this practice as a demonstration and then ferment the juice. During the fermentation process, pathogens will not survive. So wine made by crushing the grapes by feet is safe to drink. So is wine made from grapes that have not been washed. How can a winemaker use native yeasts if the grapes are washed?

What happens if an unknowledgeable inspector states that stems and jacks must be removed from the fermentation bin? This will increase the cost of the wine. Some winemakers like the tannins from stems and jacks and the aroma and flavors they impart to the wines.

If wine is put into the food service inspection category, why is it taxed? Federal and state taxes are assessed on a gallon of wine, but not accessed on a gallon of orange juice or a pound of beef. Perhaps wineries would welcome food service inspections if they no longer had to pay federal and state taxes on alcohol.

Should wineries have food service inspections?



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