NJ Wines have flourished in recent years with many new vintners entering the marketplace. Award winning wines are being developed by new and well established vineyards. But recently, federal courts could put a cork in NJ wine business. The court finds it unconstitutional to forbid out of state producers from opening their own retail operation and permitting only in state wineries to sell direct to consumers and retailers. The courts feel as though there are 2 options: give out of state wineries the same right to sell, or prohibit all wineries from selling direct to consumers. For the courts to choose the second option does not benefit anyone. A majority of sales from NJ wineries comes from their tasting room (in some cases 90% of their sales). Wineries are growing in NJ which brings growth to the agriculture community and promotes farming. It does not make sense for the courts to prohibit business and sales in NJ. Many smaller wineries would not be able to continue doing business because there would not be a way to distribute their wine. To add to the problem, there is also a ban on in-state and out of state wineries shipping direct to customers. There is nothing wrong with a little competition, and I think it makes sense to allow both in-state and out of state wine makers to sell their wine direct to consumers. In the next few months, the wine industry will change in NJ. Being a home wine maker and from a NJ town built by generations of farmers and winemakers, not allowing these wineries to continue would be detrimental to business and communities.
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Lindsey Fandozzi

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