New Jersey: Update from January 2022

Updated: January 4, 2022

Dear Wine Lovers of New Jersey,

Unfortunately we will have to wait another legislative session to pursue removal of the onerous “capacity cap” in New Jersey, which restricts which wines you can purchase and have shipped directly from American wineries.

On January 3, 2022, Assembly Bill 1943 successfully passed on a 5-1 vote out of the Oversight, Reform and Federal Relations Committee.  While this is very good news, the local lobbyists report to us that the bill will not get any further in the waning days of 2020-21 legislative session. But they do emphasize that the favorable vote provides good momentum going into the next 2-year session. Leadership gave some positive comments on getting the bill passed as well.

We appreciate all of you for writing letters to your legislators through freethegrapes.org, making phone calls, and supporting our long-term efforts. New Jersey is the only state that bans winery-to-consumer shipments from wineries producing more than 250,000 gallons (106,000 cases, considered a medium-sized winery) each vintage. It also prohibits small and medium-sized wineries owned by larger wineries from shipping directly to you. Arizona and Massachusetts removed similar “capacity cap” statutes years ago, and Ohio removed its capacity cap more recently, in September 2021.

The capacity cap prevents wine shipping from wineries responsible for producing more than 90% of U.S. wine.

We’re not giving up on New Jersey and look forward to the day when we can inform you of another bill to support!

Thank you,

Free the Grapes!