PHOENIX – After his Cornville winery squeezes the last drop from its grape harvest, Arizona law requires Eric Glomski to throw away the hundreds of pounds of skin, pulp, seeds and stems left behind.
Many wineries beyond Arizona are allowed to distill this collection of byproducts, known as fruit pomace, into spirits such as brandy, cognac, cider and grappa, an Italian brandy. Adding those products to its line would be a boon to Page Springs Cellars’ business, said Glomski, the winery’s founder and director of winemaking.
“As an artisan and businessman, I see grappas being made around the planet that are fine, amazing drinks,” he said. “We should be able to make that too.”
Enter legislation that would offer wineries like Glomski’s licenses to distill alcoholic beverages from wine byproducts.
“Sometimes, pomace just ends up in landfills, and we want to provide an option to our growers and wine industry in Arizona and keep it out of our landfills,” said Rep. Brenda Barton, R-Payson, author of HB 2661.
HB 2661 passed through the House Commerce Committee on Feb. 19 and was heading to the House floor by way of the Rules Committee.
The Arizona Wine Growers Association was among organizations registering support for the bill.
Barton said Arizona law on the subject stems from anti-alcohol legislation that swept the U.S. after the end of Prohibition in the 1930s. Arizona created a three-tier control system separating producers, distributors and retailers of alcoholic beverages to discourage monopolies.
Small wineries popped up in Arizona after a 2006 law allowed farm wineries to sell wine in-person through their tasting rooms. They are licensed to sell wine to retailers and directly to consumers as long they don’t produce more than 20,000 gallons annually.
Without a producer’s license, however, wineries can’t legally distill spirituous liquor other than wine, to Glomski’s chagrin.
“Distilling fruit pomace will add value to our business and make more sense from an economic and artistic perspective, Glomski said. “It discourages waste and is simply a more efficient business model.”
If HB 2661 becomes law, wineries could produce alcoholic beverages such as beer, brandy and grappa and sell them on their grounds.
To Glomski, the change would make Arizona more attractive to wine entrepreneurs.
“Arizona is my home, and winemaking, grappa-making, brandy-making is an art that is an expression of home,” he said. “Arizona wine tastes like Arizona wine, and I wanted to express the place that I call home.”
Barton said researchers are investigating the nutritional and antibacterial properties of the seeds in grape pomace – another reason, she said, to encourage Arizona winemakers to make use of it.
“If universities can jump on board with research, this is only one more great thing we can bring to Arizona,” she said.
- The bride's guide to feeling your best on your wedding day
- Deciding when you need knee surgery
- Celebrating Fourth of July is much cooler in these AZ towns
- Top ten road trip bathrooms in America
- Six things causing a pain in your neck
- 5 things to make your summer move easier
- Three elements of a strong timeshare exit guarantee
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.
- 6 of the biggest skin cancer myths
- Affordable small home makeover ideas
- Locals helping locals: 6 success stories you need to know about
- Sunscreen facts that could save your life
- 6 energy saving hacks for your home
- 5 tips for choosing a company to end your timeshare
- Overlooked water tips to save you money
- 5 of the most adored gentlemen in professional sports today
- The real danger of sitting at your desk
- Most surprising NBA playoff performances of the last 40 years
- 11 classic baseball movies you must see again
- Finally getting rid of fat: 3 methods that actually work
- 4 reasons cancer survivors should focus on food
- 5 spring cleaning spots everyone forgets
- 5 reasons to look forward to watching the D-backs this season
- Common virus attributed to spike in head and neck cancers
- 5 signs it’s time to end your timeshare ownership
- 3 most overlooked ways to keep your home healthy