New Jersey wine consumers, the long wait is finally over! As of May 1st 2012, you now have the same ability as millions of Americans in 38 other states to have wine shipped directly from wineries to your residences.
“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.”
On January 17, 2012, Governor Chris Christie signed S-3172, legislation which permits direct shipping of wine to NJ residents from small wineries only, defined as those wineries that produce 250,000 gallons or less of wine per year. This historic legislation enables the state’s wine industry to expand and continue to produce award-winning wines, further enhancing New Jersey’s national image as a major wine growing state. The direct shipping legislation also provides NJ wine consumers access to many more wines from NJ and around the nation, which are not available on the shelves of NJ wine retailers. And, the legislation stimulates agri-tourism, preserves farmland, and creates jobs. As provided in the legislation, S-3172 takes effect on the first day of the fourth month after enactment, which was Tuesday, May 1st.
“This is truly an historic day that was a long time coming. 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.
So when can you actually have wine shipped to your residence?
- Beginning May 1st, any New Jersey winery can ship up to 12 cases per year to any state resident 21 years of age or older.
- Any New Jersey winery, if it chooses to do so, may apply for a direct shipping license in any of the 38 other direct shipping permissible states. License permitting, NJ wineries may also directly ship up to 12 cases per year to an out-of-state resident 21 years of age or older.
- Applications and instructions are now available with the NJ Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) and the Division of Taxation for an out-of-state small winery to directly ship up to 12 cases per year to a NJ resident 21 years of age or older.
This is a major turning point for not only NJ’s wineries and consumers, but also small wineries around the country who can now expand the reach of their craft by shipping directly to NJ residents.
New Jersey has 53 wineries and ranks seventh in the nation in total wine production.