At least one local vineyard operator is pleased that the Carroll County Board of Commissioners will consider a resolution for Sunday alcohol sales at farm wineries.
County attorney Stacey Blackmon is slated to present the resolution for Sunday sales at farm wineries at the next BOC meeting, scheduled for Feb. 6. This consideration would amend the current ordinances to provide for the regulation of sale wine in a tasting room or other farm winery facility on Sundays.
Pursuant to ordinances 6-197 and 6-198, the sale of wine in a tasting room or other licensed farm winery facility is currently permitted and regulated on Mondays through Saturdays in Carroll County.
Ordinance 6-197 of Article XIII prohibits Sunday sales while Ordinance 6-198(g) of Article XIII would be amended from “No Sales” and to sales on Sunday between the hours of 12:30 p.m. to 12 a.m.
Jerry Culver of Little Vine Vineyards in Villa Rica said he has been trying to convince the BOC to consider allowing Sunday sales at such establishments for some time, saying it is a lucrative day for the industry.
“The State of Georgia Farm Winery License allows farm wineries to be open on Sunday afternoons and they can only be open at the behest of the county commissioners,” Culver said. “We’ve been trying to get the commissioners to do this for some time, basically since we’ve been open, but there’s always been some objections to it raised by some of the commissioners. They have finally realized that it’s going to be a good thing for the county and it will certainly increase their tax days.”
Culver said statistics show most farm wineries earn about a third of their income from Sunday sales. He said allowing Sunday sales would be a definite economic boost for wineries as well as the county.
“It’s like a win-win situation,” said Culver. “We will most definitely take advantage of that, if and when they pass it. I’m hopeful that they will pass it.”
He said he knows there has been resistance from a lot of local churches but the farm wineries, in general, have a good reputation in the state in that they are attended by well-heeled people, not a rowdy element of the population that causes problems.
Culver’s wines have gained the county recognition at international and national shows. Several of his products have won gold medals at some of the top events in the industry.
He said he often has requests from customers for Sunday sales, and when holidays fall on Sundays, the local wineries lose even more potential customers.
“One of the things that cost us recently was that New Year’s was on Sunday,” he said. “With that, we were completely locked out of any celebration or anything like that. So them passing this will help us.”