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According to local vineyard owners, a new law that allows small wineries to avoid distributors and directly ship to customers is a big win for their industry. This is despite the fact that it could take a couple of years for them to realize considerable profits from the direct sales operations.
The wine industry’s legal changes, which also increased the number of areas where wines can be sampled, gives vintners hope that the fastest growing form of agriculture in New Jersey will no longer remain a homegrown secret.
Cameron Stark, a winemaker at Unionville Vineyards located in Ringoes, said, “For small wineries trying to gain exposure and grow, this is a way to help capture customers outside our nearby perimeters. This levels the playing field so we can compete with the rest of the country. We can get our wines to people in California and New York if someone wants them.”
The new law, which will take effect in May this year, modifies the statutes regulating the sale and distribution of products made by New Jersey wineries. It also gives birth to a new out-of-state winery license regulating New Jersey sales by those wineries that are licensed elsewhere.
Assemblywoman Celeste Riley, a Democrat from Gloucester, Salem and Cumberland, and one of the sponsors of the legislation, said, “Consumers can purchase just about anything these days through shipping. Wine, as long as it’s as carefully regulated as this law will do, should be no different.”