Lifton’s Bill to Allow Interstate Wine Sales Passes Assembly

Finger Lakes wineries would benefit
June 21, 2005

Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton (D-Tompkins/Cortland) announced that the Assembly passed legislation she sponsored authorizing interstate wine purchases via mail shipment (A.7379-C). The legislation includes precautions to ensure wine is only shipped to New York residents over the age of 21 by requiring the shipper to obtain proof of age from the person receiving the wine and their signature.

"The U.S. Supreme Court decided that state laws banning interstate wine sales are unconstitutional," Lifton said. "My legislation would allow the state to comply with the court decision by allowing interstate wine purchases by mail. Sales for small wineries would increase considerably if the bill is enacted into law, and it will help businesses, tourism and the economy in the Finger Lakes region."

The Finger Lakes region is the largest wine producer in the state, and New York is the third-largest wine producer in the country with almost 200 farm wineries. Over 3 million people visit New York wineries each year, with over one-third of them coming from out of state.

"Our area’s economy depends heavily on its wine industry, and I’m doing all I can in the Assembly to strengthen it. This legislation will open the door for local wineries like Frontenac Point Vineyard in Trumansburg and Six Mile Creek Vineyard in Ithaca to better compete in the national and international markets," Lifton said. "I urge the Senate and governor support this important legislation."