New permit bill cuts wine production costs

PALISADE, Colo. A new permit bill that is being signed into law Friday may give smaller Colorado wineries the financial break needed to increase sales nationwide.

House Bill 1034 allows wineries to package and distribute other wineries' products, drastically cutting production costs of smaller, locally based establishments.

Lack of finances has many smaller wineries borrowing equipment from neighbors or working with inefficient bottling machines.

“We try to work with things that are semi-automatic instead of automatic lines, so basically it's more time consuming, so financially it’s not the best,” says John Barbier of Maison la Belle Vie Winery.

Small wineries lose some of their appeal on the shelves because of higher prices that are driven by high production costs; this causes potential customers to look away before even tasting the wine.

Vineyard owners hope this bill will boost the wine industry on the Western Slope and get their fine wines their proper recognition.

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