If you like local wines but have trouble finding them at the liquor store, now there's an option to ship them directly to your home, thanks to recent legislation.
On Tuesday, May 1, the Garden State Wine Growers Association (GSWGA) announced the launch of direct shipping of wine from wineries to homes throughout the state. The GSWGA represents 34 New Jersey wineries.
Wineries throughout the state can now take orders via the internet or telephone calls and ship directly to residents' homes, according to the GSWGA. The ability to ship is the result of bi-partisan legislation signed into law by Gov. Chris Christie on Jan. 17, 2012, GSWGA said.
The law satisfies a December, 2010 federal court ruling that New Jersey wineries were acting unconstitutionally by not permitting out-of-state wineries to operate retail outlets and wine tasting rooms in the state, GSWGA said. Without this law, many retail outlets and tasting rooms would have to be , essentially resulting in the closure of many wineries throughout the state, GSWGA said.
New Jersey wineries can become licensed to ship wine directly to residents in other states, should they choose to obtain a license in the 38 other states that allow direct shipping, GSWGA said. Out-of-state wineries that produce less than 250,000 gallons of wine per year can ship wine directly to New Jersey residents, once they obtain a license to do so, GSWGA said.
“This is truly an historic day that was a long time coming, but thanks to the tireless efforts of legislators to support our industry, we can now begin a period that will allow our wineries to reach a broader audience and expose our award-winning wines to consumers throughout the state and country,” said Ollie Tomasello, Chairman of the Garden State Wine Growers Association and owner of Plagido’s Winery in Hammonton.
“We are pleased to finally put to an end the nearly decade-long debate over direct shipment of wine,” Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa said. “New Jersey residents will now have another convenient way to purchase the excellent wines offered by our many fine Garden State wineries, as well as wineries throughout the country.”
New Jersey wineries can now ship up to 12 cases a year to residents in the state who are at least 21 years old, GSWGA said. Those who choose to ship out of state can also ship up to 12 cases to out-of-state residents who are at least 21 years old.
“The GSWGA is grateful to all the legislators that worked tirelessly to support our industry and pass this needed legislation, especially bill sponsors Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Assemblyman John Burzichelli, Deputy Speaker John Wisniewski, Assemblywoman Celeste Riley and Assemblyman Ronald Dancer,” Tomasello said.