599.0005 Florida Viticulture Policy Act; short title.—This chapter may be cited as the “Florida Viticulture Policy Act.”
History.—s. 1, ch. 85-111.
599.001 Legislative declaration of public policy respecting viticulture.—
(1) The Legislature declares that viticulture, the production and utilization of grapes, is an underdeveloped agricultural commodity enterprise in this state. The Legislature recognizes that Florida possesses many resources and geographic advantages that favor the expansion and growth of present-day viticulture into a broad-based, economically viable industry. The growth potential of the present industry offers good opportunities for local economic development and supply trade. The development of viticulture is compatible with the economies, lifestyles, and interests of both rural and urban Florida.
(2) Further, the Legislature finds that factors such as minimal new grape cultivar development, lack of printed information on production and processing, minimal understanding of winemaking techniques and requirements that will capitalize on the unique characteristics of available grape cultivars, minimal understanding of grape juice processing requirements, lack of fresh fruit handling and processing technology specifically for muscadine grape cultivars, lack of quality standards for wine and other processed grapes, lack of assistance and printed information for overall business planning and marketing, and lack of coordination of the many diverse interests and expertises which could contribute to the further development of viticulture in the state are inhibitory to the development of viticulture to the potential of which it is reasonably capable, going into the 21st century.
(3) The Legislature further declares that, in order to effectively support the efficient and expeditious development and growth of viticulture into a broad-based, economically sound industry, there is a need for leadership and statewide viticultural planning.
History.—ss. 2, 6, ch. 84-295; s. 5, ch. 91-429; s. 6, ch. 94-296.
599.002 Viticulture Advisory Council.—
(1) There is created within the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services the Viticulture Advisory Council, to consist of eight members as follows: the president of the Florida Grape Growers’ Association or a designee thereof; the viticulture representative of the State Agricultural Advisory Council; a representative from the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences; a representative from the viticultural science program at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University; and four additional commercial members, to be appointed for a 2-year term each by the Commissioner of Agriculture, including a wine producer, a fresh fruit producer, a nonwine product (juice, jelly, pie fillings, etc.) producer, and a viticultural nursery operator.
(2) The meetings, powers and duties, procedures, and recordkeeping of the Viticulture Advisory Council, and per diem and reimbursement of expenses of council members, shall be governed by the provisions of s. 570.0705 relating to advisory committees established within the department.
(3) The primary responsibilities of the Viticulture Advisory Council are to submit to the Commissioner of Agriculture, annually, the industry’s recommendations for viticultural research, promotion, and education and, as necessary, the industry’s recommendations for revisions to the State Viticulture Plan.
History.—ss. 3, 6, ch. 84-295; s. 4, ch. 85-62; s. 5, ch. 91-429; s. 85, ch. 93-169; s. 3, ch. 94-296; s. 29, ch. 94-335.
599.003 State Viticulture Plan.—
(1) The Commissioner of Agriculture, in consultation with the Viticulture Advisory Council, shall develop and coordinate the implementation of the State Viticulture Plan, which shall identify problems and constraints of the viticulture industry, propose possible solutions to those problems, and develop planning mechanisms for the orderly growth of the industry, including:
(a) Criteria for viticultural research, service, and management priorities.
(b) Additional proposed legislation that may be required.
(c) Plans and goals to improve research and service capabilities at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University and the University of Florida in their efforts to address current and future needs of the industry.
(d) The potential for viticulture products in terms of market and needs for development.
(e) Evaluation of wine policy alternatives, including, but not limited to, continued improvement in wine quality, blending considerations, promotion and advertising, labeling and vineyard designations, and development of production and marketing strategies.
(f) Evaluation of production and fresh fruit policy alternatives, including, but not limited to, setting minimum grades and standards, promotion and advertising, development of production and marketing strategies, and setting minimum standards on types and quality of nursery plants.
(g) Evaluation of policy alternatives for nonwine processed products, including, but not limited to, setting minimum quality standards and development of production and marketing strategies.
(h) Research and service priorities for further development of the viticulture industry.
(i) The identification of state agencies and public and private institutions concerned with research, education, extension, services, planning, promotion, and marketing functions related to viticultural development and the delineation of contributions and responsibilities.
(j) Business planning, investment potential, financial risks, and economics of production and utilization.
(2) A revision and update of the State Viticulture Plan shall be submitted biennially to the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the chairs of appropriate committees of the Senate and House of Representatives, and a progress report and budget request shall be submitted annually.
History.—ss. 4, 6, ch. 84-295; s. 2, ch. 85-111; s. 5, ch. 91-429; s. 4, ch. 94-296.
(1) The Florida Farm Winery Program is established within the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Under this program, a winery may qualify as a tourist attraction only if it is registered with and certified by the department as a Florida Farm Winery. A winery may not claim to be certified unless it has received written approval from the department.
(a) To qualify as a certified Florida Farm Winery, a winery shall meet the following standards:
1. Produce or sell less than 250,000 gallons of wine annually.
2. Maintain a minimum of 10 acres of owned or managed vineyards in Florida.
3. Be open to the public for tours, tastings, and sales at least 30 hours each week.
4. Make annual application to the department for recognition as a Florida Farm Winery, on forms provided by the department.
5. Pay an annual application and registration fee of $100.
(b) To maintain certification and recognition as a Florida Farm Winery, a winery must comply with the qualifications provided in this section. The Commissioner of Agriculture is authorized to officially recognize a certified Florida Farm Winery as a state tourist attraction.
(2)(a) The department, in coordination with the Viticulture Advisory Council, shall develop and designate by rule a Florida Farm Winery logo, emblem, and directional sign to guide the public to certified Florida Farm Winery tourist attractions. The logo and emblem of certified Florida Farm Winery signs shall be uniform.
(b) Upon the request of a certified Florida Farm Winery, the Department of Transportation shall acquire and place Florida Farm Winery logo, emblem, and directional signs on the rights-of-way of interstate highways and primary and secondary roads. All costs for placing each sign shall be paid by the certified Florida Farm Winery requesting the sign. However, the cost of placing a sign shall not exceed $250 and the annual permit fee shall not exceed $50.
(c) Each certified Florida Farm Winery shall pay to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services a licensing fee of $10 each year for each Florida Farm Winery logo, emblem, and directional sign in place.
(3) All fees collected, except as otherwise provided by this section, shall be deposited into the Viticulture Trust Fund and used to develop consumer information on the native characteristics and proper use of wines.
History.—s. 30, ch. 92-151.
599.012 Viticulture Trust Fund; creation.—
(1) There is established the Viticulture Trust Fund within the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The department shall use the moneys deposited in the trust fund pursuant to subsection (2) to do all the following:
(a) Develop and coordinate the implementation of the State Viticulture Plan.
(b) Promote viticulture products manufactured from products grown in the state.
(c) Provide grants for viticultural research.
(2) Fifty percent of the revenues collected from the excise taxes imposed under s. 564.06 on wine produced by manufacturers in this state from products grown in the state will be deposited in the Viticulture Trust Fund in accordance with that section.