Wine Shipping to Undergo Changes

By: Jarrod Aldom
By: Jarrod Aldom

It's been 70 years since Virginia wineries have been able to ship their products directly to out-of-state consumers. But WHSV found out a new state law will soon change that.

Not since the end of prohibition have Virginia wineries been allowed to move so freely. Come July 1st, wine trade will be allowed between Virginia and 13 other states and local wine distributors say that can only help their business.

WINE RECIPROCITY STATES

  • California
  • Colorado
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • New Mexico
  • Oregon
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin
  • West Virginia

"I think it's going to be great because we do get a lot of times people who want to ship wines to relatives or family," said Ginger Lemasurier. "They want to send Virginia wines or any other kinds of wines in a gift basket, and to this point it's been very limited."

Virginia had few wineries when the ban was imposed in 1933. Now it's home to 80 wineries. The Zin Wineshop carries wine from around the world. They say they have a lot of requests for Virginia wines, especially from tourists.

"People will come in, they'll buy a bottle of wine or they'll taste a bottle of wine, they'll really like it, but are limited for space in their car or in the airplane and want to have it shipped back to their home," said Lemasurier. "So they'll say can they ship this to me."

Lemasurier doesn't think her business will be hurt by Internet orders to out-of-state vineyards. For most people, getting wine is a matter of convenience.

"I really don't think that will be a huge issue," says Lemasurier. "I think if anything its going to be a big plus to the consumer to be able to buy wine and ship it out and to be able to order it in."

Virginia's ABC stores and other large distributors like Walmart say they don't anticipate any drop off in sales from the new law either.

Wineries will be able to ship up to two cases a month to the 13 states. The new law applies to beer as well.


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