Charles Cowart, President of Still Pond Winery and Still Pond Distillery, LLC
CALHOUN CO., GA (WALB) -
A Southwest Georgia winery is once again selling its product on site, thanks to a new state law.
Sales were halted temporarily in their tasting room last September, after the Department of Revenue put a hold on their business.
"It was an economic slap when we got stopped, but hopefully we can get back to the way we were," said Charles Cowart, President of Still Pond Winery and Still Pond Distillery, LLC.
The problem was that they added moonshine and Vodka to their business. There was an almost 90-year-old regulation that kept wineries from operating distilleries in Georgia.
"We applied for a distillery license, oh gosh, about four years ago and we began working on our distillery. We got it up and running and then got word that we were not supposed to have been issued that license," Cowart said.
And they were forced to choose between the distillery or selling wine on site. "It was sort of a no brainer. We had already spent money on the distillery, and so we stopped the retail at the winery."
But they weren't ready to give up all together. The owners reached out to local representatives pushed through legislation allowing a winery to also operate a distillery.
After an inspection, Still Pond has now been approved to sell wine at the winery. Now, they can hold their three popular fall and holiday festivals again, after they were canceled last year.
"Who wants to come to a wine festival if you can't drink wine?" asked Cowart.
And Still Pond can proudly hold the title as Georgia's only winery and distillery.