A first: Winery gets license for Pittsfield Downtown Farmers Market


PITTSFIELD -- The Pittsfield Downtown Farmers Market will have a new flavor -- in more than one sense of the word -- beginning this coming Saturday. That's when Balderdash Cellars will begin offering samples of its wines and bottles for sale.

The city Licensing Board on Friday approved an alcohol sale license for the winery, which is located at 502 East St., to sell during the Saturday morning markets on First Street across from the Pittsfield Common. It's a first-of-its-kind license for the board, which responded enthusiastically.

"I think this will be a welcome addition to the farmers market," said acting board Chairman Robert Quattrochi.

Members Thomas Campoli and Richard Stockwell said they look forward to visiting the winery's vendor booth.

Christian Hanson, who owns the winery with his wife, Donna, opened at the East Street location in June after making wine at their home since November 2011. They bottled their first wine in late 2012.

Hanson, a professional vintner who interned at a winery in California, said the business primarily purchases grapes for its wines from wineries in that state.

Balderdash Cellars will offer wine tasting and bottles for sale during the markets, similar to tastings that are scheduled at the East Street location. Hanson said outside the board meeting that "this has become big for farm wineries throughout the state. Some go to six or seven [markets] a week."

The markets provide sales and exposure for the wineries, he said, especially for those location in rural areas.

Jess Conzo, manager of the Pittsfield Downtown Farmers Market, which is new this summer, attended to support Hanson's application.

The board also approved a seasonal wine and malt store license for Lipton Inc., for its Lipton Mart at 460 South St.

Company owner Sanford Lipton, who attended the meeting with his attorney, Jeffrey Lynch, said the business operates 10 convenience stores/gas stations, including four in Pittsfield, and one each in Lee, Lenox and Great Barrington, but the South Street site will be the only one with a license for alcohol sales.

Two others in Brattleboro, Vt., and one in Greenfield also have alcohol sales licenses, he said.

For a video of Hanson talking about his plans for the Pittsfield Downtown Farmers Market, visit the Tout section at berkshireeagle.com.

To reach Jim Therrien:
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On Twitter: @BE_therrien


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