Down East: Is Maine Screwing Up its Wine Industry?

Down East has published an in-depth look at the convoluted and complex set of laws governing wine sales, production and shipping as well as wine tastings in the state.

Yet even such codified situations seem to have exceptions. Winterport Winery, for instance, had a liquor license for three years by virtue of maintaining a restaurant next door (separate door, separate corporation) where it conducted wine pairings with meals and cooking classes. Owner Michael Anderson was surprised, therefore, when he was told that he would not be able to renew his license in 2009.

“Mike, we’ve got a problem,” a state liquor inspector told him. “I want you to become a brewery.”

“You what?”