NJ Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control Offers Out-of-State Winery License

TRENTON – For the first time, wineries throughout the country can now apply for an Out-of-State Plenary Winery License, providing the opportunity to ship wine directly to New Jersey residents.

Licensees will be permitted, with certain restrictions, to engage in direct shipment of wine to New Jersey residents and licensed retail establishments, and will also be able to open tasting rooms in the Garden State. The new license was created by legislation signed by Gov. Chris Christie in January.

The creation of the license will also effectively end the nine-year litigation and legislative debate over direct shipping. The United States District Court had granted a stay in the case that had been at the center of the direct shipping debate, pending the enactment of legislation.

“We are pleased to finally put to an end the nearly decade-long debate over direct shipment of wine,” Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa said. “New Jersey residents will now have another convenient way to purchase the excellent wines offered by our many fine Garden State wineries, as well as wineries throughout the country.”

In-state wineries will also now have the ability to ship, according to Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control Director Michael Halfacre.

“Our Division is prepared to process applications from out-of state wineries and will operate this program with the utmost integrity,” Halfacre said.

To be eligible for an Out-of-State Winery License, a winery possessing a current and valid winery license issued by another state must meet the following requirements, among others:

  • It shall not produce more than 250,000 gallons per year and shall not own, either in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, any interest in a winery that produces more than 250,000 gallons per year.
  • It is only permitted to ship products it has manufactured.
  • It shall ensure that all products shipped and sold are brand registered in New Jersey.
  • It is limited to shipments of no more than 12 cases per year, per person (21 years of age or older), for personal consumption only.
  • It shall comply with all tax collection and remission requirements established by the New Jersey Division of Taxation.

Applicants for the license will pay an annual fee ranging from $63 to $938, depending on yearly production.

Starting today, New Jersey wineries can also take orders over the internet and phone and ship their product directly to the homes of New Jersey consumers thanks to the bi-partisan legislation that was signed into law in January. New Jersey wineries that become licensed in the 38 other states that allow direct shipping will eventually be able to ship out-of-state to consumers.

“This is truly an historic day that was a long time coming, but thanks to the tireless efforts of legislators to support our industry, we can now begin a period that will allow our wineries to reach a broader audience and expose our award-winning wines to consumers throughout the state and country,” said Ollie Tomasello, Chairman of the Garden State Wine Growers Association and owner of Plagido’s Winery in Hammonton.

For more information about the New Jersey Out-of-State Plenary Winery License or application information, visit the Division’s website, www.nj.gov/oag/abc/index.html.

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