Governor Signs Legislation Allowing for the Direct Shipment of Wine

July 13, 2005

Assemblymember Kevin A. Cahill (D – Ulster, Dutchess Counties) announced today that the Governor signed legislation permitting New York wineries to ship wine directly to customers both in and out of the state. The new law comes on the heals of a United States Supreme Court ruling which declared the State’s ban on wine shipments unconstitutional.

"For years I have been a strong supporter of allowing our wineries to participate in a nationwide market," said Assemblymember Cahill. "With the Governor’s signing of this law, the world class wineries located here in the Hudson Valley and across the state will finally have the opportunity to compete on that stage." Mr. Cahill, for years, has been a staunch advocate for direct shipment of wine and was a co-sponsor of the legislation signed today by the Governor.

The law will allow licensed wineries to sell their products to adults anywhere in the United States. New York residents would be allowed to order up to 36 cases per year from a particular winery. The act provides safeguards to ensure that shipments are not sold to individuals under the age of 21. All shipments must be clearly labeled and deliveries may only be completed upon the presentation of valid photo identification and signature by a recipient of legal age for alcohol consumption.

The wine and grape industry has been the fastest growing area of our State’s tourism and agricultural economies, bringing in an estimated one billion dollars in gross sales annually. Direct wine shipment will allow even more opportunities for growth within the industry, creating jobs and generating millions in additional economic revenue.

"Today is a great day for wineries in the Hudson Valley and across New York. This could not have been accomplished without the commitment of the State Legislature and in particular Assemblymember Cahill," said Bob Ransom, owner of the Rivendell Winery in New Paltz. "Direct shipment of wine will be good for consumers and our local wineries alike. We are anticipating a growth in business and the creation of more jobs for area residents." Mr. Ransom is also the owner of Vintage New York, located in New York City, which deals exclusively in the sale of New York State wines.

"Direct shipment will serve to further enhance the reputation of New York State wines, increase the visibility of our wine trail program and boost our agricultural markets and tourism," said Mr. Cahill. "Our local wine makers take great pride in the creation of their products. It is about time we allow them to distribute their goods across the country," he concluded.