New York Ordered to Allow Direct Shipment of Wine

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U.S. District Court Judge Richard Berman issued an injunction yesterday stopping New York from enforcing its prohibition regarding interstate direct wine shipments to consumers in the state.

A spokesman for the New York attorney general said they will appeal the decision, The New York Times reported. A stay is in force through the 30-day appeal window, according to the Coalition for Free Trade, Sacramento, a nonprofit legal foundation representing the wine industry.

"It paves the way for a solution that will allow New Yorkers to order from out-of-state wineries and for New York wineries to ship to consumers in states that allow such shipments," said Tracy Genesen, legal director of the coalition. "If the state appeals, the status quo remains in effect until the outcome of the appeal. If the decision is affirmed on appeal, out-of-state wineries can ship to consumers in New York."

However, pending the appeal, there would not be any shipments of wine to New Yorkers from out of state, said Genesen, who also is senior counsel at Hyde, Miller, Owen & Trost, Sacramento.

New York is the second largest wine consuming state and the third largest wine-producing state.

The coalition provided legal strategy, submitted affidavits and jointly filed an amicus brief with the Family Winemakers of California. Plaintiffs included two wineries -- Swedenburg Winery of Virginia and The Lucas Winery of California -- and three consumers. Defendants included the chairman and commissioners of the State Liquor Authority, Division of Alcohol Beverage Control, New York.


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