2017 Arkansas Code
Title 3 - Alcoholic Beverages
Chapter 5 - Beer and Wine -- Manufacture, Sale, and Transportation Generally
Subchapter 6 - Native Wines -- Production and Sale
§ 3-5-601. Legislative determinations and intent
- (1) The General Assembly finds and determines that, due to extremely high prices of cane sugar and in view of the difficulty Arkansas wineries experience in obtaining dependable supplies of liquid corn sugar used as fermentation sugars in the production of native wines in this state and in view of the fact that many fruits such as apples, berries, peaches, and American varieties of grapes such as concord and niagara, which are easily produced in Arkansas, are low in sufficient sugar content in many growing seasons to produce sound, stable wine and because of resulting extremely low alcohol content, the addition of sugar is essential to production of quality-consistent, stable wines.
- (2) It is essential that the regulations pertaining to the production of native wines in this state be modified to permit Arkansas wineries to use various other sources of sugar that have been approved for wine production under applicable federal regulations.
- (1) It is further determined by the General Assembly that in view of federal laws prohibiting the use of artifical flavoring in the production of natural wines it is essential for wineries to use natural fruit flavors and essences, that there is a lack of natural fruit flavor and natural essence produced in Arkansas due to the climatic conditions of this state, for example, vermouth herbs, etc., commonly imported from Europe, and that the lack of natural fruit flavor and natural essence and herbs is causing a severe drop in the sale of Arkansas native wines.
- (2) More and newer flavors of grape and apple wines are being produced, largely by wineries in the major wine-producing states and foreign countries, making it extremely difficult for Arkansas wineries to increase the exportation of native wine produced in this state into other states.
- (3) It is in the interest of the fruit and vegetable growers in this state that Arkansas wineries be able to obtain the necessary natural fruit flavors and essences required to flavor and supplement Arkansas native wines produced in this state, thereby permitting Arkansas wineries to offer to the public a broader variety of native wines and, through increased wine production, experience an increasing demand for production of fruits and vegetables in this state which are used in the production of native wines, thereby resulting in gains in employment for the citizens of this state.
- (1) The General Assembly further determines that it was the purpose and intent of the Native Wine Law to promote the increased marketing and exportation of Arkansas fruits and vegetables in the form of wine and that it was not the intent of the Native Wine Law to curtail the expansion of Arkansas wineries by restricting the supply of raw materials when the supply of any particular raw material within the State of Arkansas is insufficient to sustain a properly aging quality-controlled wine product line.
- (2) The General Assembly recognizes that acts of God -- storms, hail, early spring frost, root bore disease, or other natural factors -- or inadequate acreage of fruit needed to sustain the product line may cause an insufficiency in the supply of particular raw materials essential in the production of wine.
- (3) The General Assembly further recognizes that many farmers in this state tend to overplant more frostproof varieties of grapes which produce heavy tonnages of grapes that, when converted into wine, result in overproduction of a particular type of wine, which is difficult to sell unless blended with other types of wines to make the same easily marketable.
- (4) These factors and adverse circumstances, coupled with skyrocketing production costs and substantial increases in sugar prices, are causing a decline in the sale of Arkansas wines which may force wineries out of business, with a resulting loss of an established market for the sale of Arkansas grapes and other fruits and vegetables which are produced for sale to wineries.
- (1) The General Assembly is aware of the laws of other states having native wine laws which have adopted the federal laws and regulations as pertaining to the appellation of origin and the blending and proper labeling of wines, which allow a wine to carry the name of the state in which produced on its label as long as seventy-five percent (75%) of the fruit or materials from which the wine is made is grown within the state designated on the label.
- (2) Wineries in other states are thereby enjoying greater flexibility in overcoming weather damage which enables them to market and produce nationally with greater ease. The enactment of comparable provisions are essential to assure that Arkansas wineries and fruit and vegetable growers who sell and produce fruits and vegetables to be used in making wine have a fair competitive position with wineries of other states.
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