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Oneida Co. Tavern League supports new underage drinking billSubmitted: 05/01/2013

Lane Kimble
Managing Editor/Anchor
lkimble@wjfw.com


RHINELANDER - Underage drinkers could get slapped with an even bigger fine if state lawmakers pass a new bill.

People cited for underage drinking would have to pay $1,000 to the bar or liquor store they tried to buy from. That's in addition to the citation fees they already get from police.

Oneida County Tavern League Vice President Aaron Schultz owns Big Daddy's in Rhinelander.

He doesn't tolerate any underagers' attempts to drink at his bar.

"If you're going to come in and have a fake ID or you're not going to have a fake ID, you're not going to be able to get away with it," Schultz said. "It's not really a problem here at Big Daddy's. There have been bars in the past that were known for being underage hangouts. And you can have that business. I don't want that business. I want the responsible drinker."

Without this law, bar and liquor store owners only could take the fake ID and wait for police to issue a citation.

The businesses themselves could also face fines and citations for serving those underagers in the first place.

Now, owners think they could have some teeth to fight back. Schultz can't see much of a downside to approving the bill.

"You know, except for the underage drinker who's trying to get away with it," Schultz said. "Ok, now you got caught and now we're going to sue you for a thousand bucks and win. Sorry about your luck, too bad so sad, but you shouldn't have tried in the first place."

The bill unanimously passed a committee vote Tuesday. It will likely go before the assembly later this month.

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ONEIDA COUNTY - No matter the weather, a glass of wine can be enjoyed year round. Even in the bitter cold, there are wineries in Oneida County that still offer tastings and wine tours.

"When people think of a winery, they do think of grape wines. They're kind of surprised, pleasantly surprised when they come to our winery and see fruit wines," said Terri Schenck from Three Lakes Winery.

The Oneida County wineries are a little bit different than what you'd see in Napa Valley.

"It is a farm so we are working on different crops, black currants, apples and an experimental vineyard," said Linda Welbes from Brigadoon Winery in Tripoli.

With the unique flavors of wines, Three Lakes Winery and Brigadoon Winery often see a lot of visitors from out of town.

"They usually say, 'I didn't know how much I needed this.' They relax, they unwind whether it's summer time or fall, just to sit outdoors when it's beautiful, it's peaceful, it's quiet," said Welbes.

Three Lakes Winery has a lot of history behind their building. 

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The building was rebuilt shortly after. Every fall the winery hosts cranberry marsh tours.

"There are several bogs in the area and it's interesting for people to be able to go and see a bog and see how the cranberries are harvested and what goes into making cranberry wine," said Schenck.

With winter right around the corner, the crops won't be producing much.

"The crops, they are what they are. It's farming so there's not much you have to do and you just hope for good weather. Lots of snow cover, that helps," said Welbes.

The Three Eagle Trail runs right into the parking lot of Three Lakes Winery. That brings in a lot of traffic year-round.

"In the winter time it turns into the snowmobile trail. We will get a lot of snowmobile traffic in the winter time and a lot of foot traffic, hiking, biking people in the summer time," said Schenck.

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