NJ Hearing Scheduled for June 16: Write Committee Members Today!

Updated: June 7, 2021

Dear Wine Lovers of New Jersey,

Good news! We have heard that Senate Bill 2683, a favorable winery direct shipping bill, will be heard June 16 in the Senate Commerce Committee! 

Even if you’re already written your state legislators, please take a moment to write another email to the five Committee members.  Just write one email and copy all five Committee members, listed below. 

As you may know, New Jersey is one of only two states that bans winery-to-consumer shipments from wineries producing more than 250,000 gallons (106,000 cases) each vintage. It also prohibits many small and medium-sized wineries owned by larger wineries from shipping directly to you. This “capacity cap” prevents wine shipping from wineries responsible for producing more than 90% of U.S. wine. And with COVID restrictions on restaurantsretail sales and travel, now is the time to address this archaic restriction on consumer access  

The two bills would, if passed, will remove the capacity cap and allow ALL U.S. wineries to get the necessary permit to direct ship wine. Its time to give New Jersey legislators notice that you want real choice. It’s time to allow ALL wineries to ship wine to New Jersey wine drinkers. 

ACTION: 

  1. Write and/or Call Senate Committee Members: Personalize our sample message to the 5 committee members below. 
  2. Join Facebook.com/FreetheGrapesNewJersey for news and updates and pending legislation. 
  3. Email a Link to Your Friends and Colleagues:  Legislators really do listen to consumers and we need wine lovers to speak up. 

Senate Commerce Committee Members

  1. Senator Nellie Pou, Committee Chair, senpou@njleg.org (973) 247-1555
  2. Senator  Joseph P. Cryan, Vice Chair, Sencryan@njleg.org (908) 624-0880
  3. Senator Anthony M. Bucco, senbucco@njleg.org  (973) 627-9700
  4. Senator Kristin M. Corrado, Sencorrado@njleg.org  (973) 237-1360
  5. Senator Nicholas P. Scutari, Senscutari@njleg.org  (908) 587-0404

Personalize the Following Message to Committee Members

Dear Senators,

S-2683 (Gopal) will be heard in the Senate Commerce Committee June 16 for a discussion only hearing. In your capacity as a member of this committee I respectfully urge your consideration and support of the “Free the Grapes” bill in hopes of a vote in your committee.  This bill will allow legal, regulated winery-to-consumer direct shipping by removing New Jersey’s archaic restriction on the size of the winery that can sell and ship wine to me.

Today, 46 states allow winery-to-consumer shipping, including New Jersey. But ours is one of only two states that ban shipments from wineries owned by larger wineries or that independently produce more than 106,000 cases a year.  Hundreds of wineries have successfully grown their brands to this production level, and they produce more than 90% of U.S. wine.  

In today’s COVID world, New Jersey wine drinkers should be able to order wine from ALL American wineries. This change won’t hurt local wine retailers or wholesalers.  Legal, regulated direct shipping can grow brands and boost local sales when savvy wine consumers ask retailers to stock wines that are not currently available in stores.

It’s time to give New Jersey consumers real choice in their wine purchases.  Let’s bring New Jersey laws in line with proven winery shipping laws in almost all other states.

I appreciate your time and attention on this important consumer issue.

Sincerely

Name, Address, City, State, Zip