Friday, May 11, 2012

Glouster County Times Herald's NJ's New Wine Shipping Laws for Local Wineries

South Jersey wineries hoping to expand business through new wine-shipping law
Published: Sunday, May 06, 2012, 10:00 AM
By Rebecca Forand/Gloucester County Times

For the first time ever in New Jersey, wine may now be shipped directly to consumers from both in-state and out-of-state wineries following years of legislative debate.

The direct shipping bill — which was signed into law in January — allows direct shopping of wine to New Jersey residents from small wineries throughout the country.

It was drafted in response to a federal appellate court decision that said wine must be sold through a distributor — something that opponents said would have crippled the state’s wine industry.

Supporters of the bill say that direct shipping of wines will help small vineyards both in and out of the state get their product to more consumers more easily.

Dan Brown, owner of the Wagonhouse Winery in South Harrison Township, says his business is looking forward to expanding its customer base. Wagonhouse still has more work to do before they begin the process of actually boxing up bottles and sending them out, he said.

“It’s something we’re going to have to progress into and see where it goes,” Brown said. “It will certainly give us another avenue for getting our wine out.”

In addition to allowing in-state wineries to ship their products to customers, out of state wineries can now apply for a license to ship directly to customers within New Jersey as well — provided they are a smaller business.

In order to receive an out of state plenary winery license, a vineyard must not produce more than 250,000 gallons of wine per year. Also, the vineyard could ship only the products it manufactures, and deliveries are limited to 12 cases per person per year.

Read the rest at: