Saturday, October 3, 2015

New feature clears fog of interstate NYS wine sales

Shipping New York State wines to friends, family and business colleagues outside the state can sometimes be a pain in the neck, given the varying, sometimes conflicting, state-by-state regulations.

However, the New York Wine & Grape Foundation today announced the debut of a new feature on its website that might make the process simpler for consumers.

If your local wine seller doesn't carry the wines you want, you can order them directly from the wineries. The website features a downloadable listing of the various wineries that ship and what states they ship to. The new feature covers all 50 states, plus Washington, DC.  However, not all New York wineries ship outside the state because getting authorization to do so can be a complicated process.

"It's not simple," says Jim Trezise, president of the Wine & Grape Foundation. "These predominantly small family wineries have to register with the regulatory authority in each state and pay the appropriate fees to have the right to ship, and then keep detailed records that are subject to audit at any time. But, now at least they have the right to determine if the time, effort and expense are worth it."

This year marks the 10th anniversary of direct interstate shipment of wine.

"The powerful wholesaler lobby fought [approval] tooth and nail for years in order to preserve their monopoly and deny consumer choice," says Trezise, whose organization lobbies for and educates businesses, government and consumers about New York wines. "The Supreme Court's 2005 'Granholm  decision' basically forced New York State's government to do something, and after a pitched battle they finally allowed [direct interstate shipping by wineries], with certain limitations."

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