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Paso Robles winery never had license to sell alcohol

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Posted at 5:44 PM, Mar 02, 2023

PASO ROBLES, Calif. (AP) — A winery on California’s central coast has been shut down for operating without a license to sell alcohol, and officials said it never had one, to begin with since opening three years ago.

Ernest Hemingway Vineyards in Paso Robles had an expired liquor license from the property’s previous owner on the wall of its tasting room when investigators visited in January, according to the California Department of Alcohol and Beverage Control.

The agency opened an investigation after receiving a complaint that the winery was unlicensed. Officials determined that it never received a license since opening its doors in Nov. 2019, the San Luis Obispo Tribune reported Thursday.

The alcohol control department cited the winery’s owner with selling liquor without a license, a misdemeanor, ABC spokesperson Bryce Avalos said. The owner could face a fine, six months in jail, or both, the Tribune said.

It is unclear if the winery will be able to receive a license in the future in order to operate legally.