US: NY Governor signs wine shipment bill
US winemakers won a victory yesterday when the Governor of New York signed a bill that would allow out-of-state direct wine shipments to consumers.
The new law will take effect in 30 days a and will allow consumers to order wine directly from wineries which is then delivered by mail, by-passing the longstanding three tier distribution system in the country.
In May this year, the US Supreme Court ruled in favour of interstate wine shipments. The move, which has been discussed in court since December last year and focused on New York and Michigan states, was been welcomed by wineries across the country.
The High Court reasoned that state laws banning direct shipments from wineries to consumers are discriminatory and, therefore, unconstitutional. The decision capped an eight-year legal wine war that has pitted wine consumers and makers against wholesalers.
States had to decide whether to allow all direct-to-consumer wine shipments, from in-state and out-of-state, or to block all such sales to consumers altogether.
New York has 219 wineries that produce around 200m bottles of wine each year, generating more than US$1bn dollars in sales. New York is the nation's third largest wine producer behind California and Washington.
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