Larkin Announces New Law To Promote New York's Wine Industry

William J. Larkin, Jr.

August 02, 2005

Senator Bill Larkin (R-C, Cornwall-on-Hudson) today announced that Governor George E. Pataki has signed legislation cosponsored by Larkin that provides a significant boost to New York's wine industry.

The new law will permit the direct interstate shipment of wine in New York State, and opens up New York's world-class wineries to the national market while giving New Yorkers more choices as consumers.

"Creating more opportunities for New York State to promote its wine industry will directly benefit our local farmers and local wineries in the Hudson Valley," said Senator Larkin. "At the same time, it will also establish a strict licensing mechanism for the

responsible shipment of wine to and from New York State, and impose the necessary safeguards to prevent underage drinking."

The law requires, among other things:

* Limiting shipments from each winery to not more than 36 cases (no more than 9 liters each case) per year to a resident of New York;

* Licensed wineries to sell their wines only to adults at least 21 years of age;

* Common carriers to obtain a valid photo identification and signature before delivering wine to a resident;

* Each shipping container to be clearly labeled with the words "Contains Wine - Signature of Person Age 21 or Older Required for Delivery;"

* Limiting shipments from wine manufacturers to not more than 36 cases (no more than 9 liters each case) per year to a resident of New York;

* Licensed wineries to register with the Department of Taxation and Finance and pay all applicable State and local sales and excise taxes; and

* Out-of-state wineries that apply for a license to ship into New York to be located in a state which affords New York wineries reciprocal shipping privileges.

New York State is the third largest producer of grapes in the nation. The wine and grape industry generates over $500 million in gross annual sales, which produces upwards of $85 million in State and local revenues.

In 2000, 2.7 million people visited New York wineries. "When out-of-state tourists visit New York State wineries, they often inquire about having a favorite wine shipped directly to their homes in other states," said Senator Larkin. "However, since many states require reciprocal shipping privileges, the ban we previously had on interstate shipment prevented New York wineries from shipping to residents of other states. This impediment prevented New York wineries from establishing long-standing relationships with customers in other states. This change in law will greatly benefit our agriculture economy."

The new law will take effect August 12, 2005.