Rep. Linda Flores: New wine law

New Wine Law Created by Flores
Kicks Off This Weekend
By State Representative Linda Flores

(Salem) “Perhaps we should say; “˜we will open no wine shop before it’s time,” remarked State Representative Linda Flores (R-Clackamas) in anticipation of this weekend’s Grand Opening for Vintner’s Cellar. The shop is the first of its kind in Oregon, which will be able to show wine lovers how to make their own vino. Flores had to change state law before this type of business could be established. Vintner’s Cellar is located in the new Happy Valley Town Center at SE 157th and Sunnyside Road in Happy Valley. (15711 SE Happy Valley Town Center Drive) The official ribbon cutting takes place on Saturday April 12th at 5 pm

The owners of Vintner’s Cellar, Susan and Jim McClaren, turned to Representative Flores for help in the fall of 2006 when they learned Oregon law would allow “˜do-it-yourself’ beer, but not permit companies to do the same for wine. “Vintner’s Cellar is possible because we had the support of State Representative Linda Flores,” said Susan McClaren. “She wrote the amendment to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission regulations that gives you the opportunity to come into our wine shop and try your hand at winemaking.” House Bill 2744 was adopted by the legislature in 2007 with only one “no” vote in the House and Senate.

“I have always been a strong supporter of small business in Oregon,” explained Flores. “Vintner’s Cellar is a good example of a family that wanted to start their own small business, had a niche market in mind, but just needed a little help to get over a regulatory hurdle. I was happy to help.”

Flores and Vintner’s are both members of the North Clackamas Chamber of Commerce. Chamber officials are expected to be on hand for the celebration on Saturday.

Several other states have laws which allow this kind of winemaking shop including Washington State. In fact Vintner’s Cellar is the country’s fastest growing “make-your-own wine” business. The owner of the national company will be at the Clackamas store this weekend.

“The McClarens will show people how to use recipes, combine the right ingredients, learn how fermentation works; even bottle, cork and put a specially designed label on their wine,” added Flores. “I’m excited to see the process, and to help get this wonderful new business off to a great start. I’m sure they will have much success in the future and our wine industry in Oregon as a whole will benefit from their efforts.” Susan McClaren has worked in the health care and construction industries in the past. Jim McClaren is a reporter with KEX radio and frequently does special reports on wineries and winemaking.