New Jersey wineries can ship their wines directly to customers in the state and across the country thanks to a new law signed by Governor Chris Christie. “New Jersey’s wines are now considered among some of the best in the nation, but rules and regulations had suffocated the industry for far too long,” says Senate President Stephen Sweeney. “That will all now change.”

“Consumers can purchase just about anything these days through shipping,” said Assemblywoman Celeste Riley, a co-sponsor of the bill. “Wine, as long as it’s as carefully regulated as this law will do, should be no different. Our current laws are holding our wine industry back and ensuring they remain less competitive with wineries in other states, and that must change for the better.”

Under the law, customers can have up to 12 cases of wine per year shipped to them for personal consumption from a winery that produces 250,000 gallons of wine or less annually. The law also lets small wineries open up to 16 retail outlets in New Jersey.

“At last, the distributions of New Jersey wines now have begun to catch up with Jersey wines’ quality,” says Bart Jackson, author of the “Garden State Wineries Guide.”

“This is a win-win for all, but most of all, this bill benefits the public who are now given an opportunity to more readily enjoy the world-class wines of their own Garden State — both at the wineries and in their homes,” says Jackson (who is also a longtime U.S. 1 contributor).

According to Jackson, New Jersey is the sixth-largest wine producing state in the nation, and New Jerseyans are number one per capita in imbibing wine.

Area wineries impacted by the law include Silver Decoy Winery in East Windsor, Cream Ridge Winery in Allentown, Laurita Winery in New Egypt, Tomasello Winery in Hammonton, and Plagido’s Winery in Hammonton, among others.

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