Indiana wineries now more family-friendly after new bill - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Indiana wineries now more family-friendly after new bill

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STARLIGHT, Ind. (WDRB) – Wineries and distilleries in Indiana are now more family-friendly when it comes to where those underage are allowed to stand inside.

Last week, Gov. Eric Holcomb signed House Bill 1496, which allows those underage to be closer to a bar if supervised by a parent.

Until last October, children were allowed near the bar as their parents sampled wines. But since then, the Alcohol and Tobacco Commission stepped in and had a different interpretation of a pre-existing law and required those underage to stand behind a partition.

That sudden change was tough for some agritourism wineries like Huber’s Orchard and Winery that welcomes 600,000 people a year.

“Many of our guests probably didn’t notice, but it did cause some confusion in our tasting area,” say Dana Huber, Director of Market and Public Relations for the 650-acre farm. “We had been operating for over 40 years without those restrictions, so it was a change, definitely, in our tasting room.”

Children were required to stand several feet away from their parents, which Huber says made it difficult for parents especially of young children.

The Hubers’ lobbied for seven months, and last week Gov. Holcomb signed the bill into law, bringing back the way wineries originally operated.

“I completely understand not letting or having children near a bar or things like that, but this is a different setting,” said Beverly Kernen, who had been coming to Huber’s with her daughter and grandson before the change was enacted in October.

The signing is a huge win for Indiana’s agritourism industry, especially those who cater to families.

“We’ve just been able to help them understand our business models with having families and with our wineries all in one space,” Huber said.

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