Gov. Jennifer Granholm signed legislation last week that will let Michigan and out-of-state wineries ship their products directly to customers in limited amounts.
In May, the U.S. Supreme Court declared unconstitutional Michigan and New York laws regulating the sale of wine. In both cases, in-state wineries were allowed to ship directly to consumers, retailers and restaurants while out-of-state wineries were not. The court ruled that states must treat wine producers equally.
Gov. George Pataki in July signed New York legislation that now allows direct wine shipments in and out of the state.
The legislation signed by Granholm will allow licensed wineries to ship up to 1,500 nine-liter cases, or 13,500 liters total, directly to customers each year. It also enacts regulations to ensure that minors cannot get access to wine through direct shipment and to allow the Liquor Control Commission to charge an annual license fee of up to $100 to help fund the regulation of direct shipping vendors.
Michigan's grape and wine industry contributes $75 million yearly to the state's economy, according to a 2000 study by Michigan State University. With 42 wineries and 1,300 acres now dedicated to growing wine grapes, Michigan ranks ninth nationally in production.
Melissa Campanelli covers postal news, CRM and database marketing for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters