Southern Indiana winery hopes to bring down barriers that separa - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Southern Indiana winery hopes to bring down barriers that separate families

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STARLIGHT, Ind. (WDRB) -- Coming to southern Indiana with the family and imbibing in a glass or two of red wine is the break from the chaos of life Chris Hendren needs.

"We come several times a year," Hendren said. "It's just a quiet place. We can bring our kid."

She likes it so much she joined the wine club at Huber's Orchard and Winery. But, over the past few months, things there changed a bit. 

Her daughter is restricted from areas she's been before. New barriers and signs were put in place to keep her out.

"They wouldn't let us walk up to the little area where the wine tastings are with her," Hendren said. "We had to choose. Did we want to do our wine tasting for that quarter or not? Because I'm not going to leave Abby drifting out in no man's land."

Huber's staff isn't doing it because they want to, they have to. A law on the books for years is now getting a much more strict interpretation. 

"It's presented some challenges to say the least," said Lise Kruer with Huber's Orchard and Winery.

Here's the requirement: A parent who wants to take part in wine tasting cannot have their child with them while they're doing so. Children have to be several feet back and behind a barrier when alcohol is being served. 

What's bad for the family at Huber's, and it's bad for business.

"Better than 40 percent of the people who pass through our doors are under the age of 21," Kruer said.

Huber's is backing Senator Ed Clere's bill that would eventually bring the barriers down.  

"We would never want our clients to choose between enjoying themselves in our atmosphere and watching their children," Kruer said.

She adds lawmakers shouldn't be thinking of the southern Indiana staple or any other winery as a bar. 

"We would definitely align ourselves more with a place like a bowling alley than we would a bar," she said.

As for Hendren, she just wants the limits placed on her family favorite uncorked.

"Just let people be with their families when they're here," she said. "That's what we're here for."

If the bill is passed, it could take effect as soon as June.

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