Governor Signs Into Law Nozzolio Bill Authorizing Direct Wine Shipments

Michael F. Nozzolio

July 13, 2005

Lodi – New York State Senator Michael F. Nozzolio (R-Fayette) today announced that Governor George Pataki has signed into law legislation he sponsored to authorize the direct shipment of wine into and out of New York State. The legislation was signed at the Lamoreaux Landing Wine Cellar in the Town of Lodi in Seneca County.

“This is truly great news for all of New York’s wineries and represents the culmination of years of hard work to allow our wineries to open their markets and ship their products all over the country,” said Senator Nozzolio. “This landmark legislation will provide a huge boost to the wine industry in New York State as well as increase tourism in the Central Finger Lakes region. I thank Governor Pataki for his support in signing this measure into law.”

The law puts in place the necessary regulatory, reporting and revenue-collecting systems to ensure an effective and responsible transition to a new system of marketing and selling wine in New York.

Specifically, this measure will:

● continue to allow New York State wineries and farm wineries to make shipments to in-state customers, but limit those shipments to 36 cases annually. In-state wine shipments have never been prohibited in New York;

● establish reciprocal wine shipping privileges between New York and other states. This would enable wine manufactured by licensed New York wineries and farm wineries to be shipped to individual customers in other states that have reciprocal direct shipping statutes. These out-of-state wineries would then be authorized to ship wine directly to customers in New York State. The legislation imposes a limit on the amount of wine that can be shipped to any individual customer to 36 cases-per-year;

● require out-of-state shippers to obtain a license from the New York State Liquor Authority and adhere to strict reporting requirements and regulations when carrying and delivering wine into New York. Direct shipments could only be made to individual adult consumers in New York, for personal use only. Proposed regulations would require carriers to obtain the signature of a person over 21 years old at the delivery address; and

● subject all wine shipped from New York to the payment of all New York alcoholic beverage taxes. Wine shipped into New York would be subject to the payment of all state and local sales taxes and excise taxes.

New York is the third-largest wine producing state in America, with 218 wineries statewide. The industry employs 18,000 workers and annually generates more than $500 million in gross sales, together with $85 million in state and local tax revenue. Over three million people visit the state’s wineries every year, with one-third of them coming from out of state.

It’s been estimated that authorizing direct shipments will raise as much as $3.8 million a year in increased revenues for New York State.