Fancy a glass of wine as you peruse Wellington’s farmers market or Cheese Heritage Festival?
Sales and tastings for such events on village grounds have been approved by local legislators.
The ordinance, which previously included the sale of beer and liquor, was narrowed down to just wine due to additional insurance costs, although Main Street Wellington director Jenny Arntz said insurance could still be a concern for vendors with just wine sales.
Vendors who want to sell wine at village events will need to have liquor liability insurance in a minimum amount of $1 million and name Wellington as an additional insured party. That addition isn’t a great financial burden, but purchasing a new policy that falls in line with the new requirements can range around $1,000, Arntz said.
The amount could discourage vendors from coming to village events, she said.
“When we had the wine tent on private property, I had asked our insurance agent if we needed to purchase a special liability policy for that,” she said. “He said it probably wasn’t necessary because the wineries that participated had their own policies. We just have a general policy.”
Arntz said many wineries’ insurance policies will likely fall in line with the new requirements but events that don’t usually involve wine could face difficulty.
“If a group has an event and it only brings in $800, they won’t make anything if they have to pay $1,000 for insurance,” she said. “If someone wants to hold a spaghetti dinner with wine and they have to purchase a new policy, they probably won’t make enough to cover the cost.”
Mayor Hans Schneider said the ordinance can be changed if difficulties arise.
“Council is happy with what’s been put up and we’re going to see how it works,” he said. “The village is looking at protecting itself but also to be cognizant of the possibility that a state bill could come to allow farmers markets to have wine tastings. We were trying to stay ahead of the game by passing this.”
The Ohio legislature passed House Bill 178 in June, which created a new liquor permit allowing the sale of sealed bottles of wine and samples at farmer’s markets. The wineries would be able to give tasting samples up to one ounce in size or sell up to four and one-half liters of wine per household.
HB 178 went into effect Sept. 9 and was sponsored by state representative Nathan Manning of North Ridgeville. It covers only farmers markets while Wellington’s ordinance covers any outdoor event on village property.
“It will help local, small businesses in Lorain County and all across Ohio expand their customer base and create jobs simultaneously,” Manning said. “The more opportunities we can give small business owners to thrive are a benefit for our entire community.”
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.
Jonathan Delozier | Wellington Enterprise Village council has passed an ordinance allowing the sale of wine at outdoor village events. Mayor Hans Schneider said beer could be added into the ordinance in the future.