Wine Legislation Good For New York

July 8, 2005

During the final days of the 2005 legislative session, the state Legislature passed a bill that will provide financial benefits for our state, our community and our burgeoning wine industry.

The bill, which authorizes direct shipment of wine to consumers, was in the works for several years, so its passage by both houses is some of the best news we’ve had in a long time. Gov. George Pataki and Senate and Assembly leaders united to solve an issue that was stalled for too long. The governor is expected to sign the measure into law.

Central New York and the Finger Lakes region produce without question some of the best wines in the world. The legislation will assure that our wine industry will become a greater catalyst for economic development and tourism, and will take our community into a new era.

The bill authorizes direct shipment of wine from New York’s vineyards and wineries to customers of legal drinking age within and outside the state. Each customer of the direct shipment option can buy up to 36 cases of wine annually.

I’ve been working with many winery owners in the 129th Assembly District to ensure passage of this legislation, and we finally emerged victorious. I know this added incentive will help our grape growers and wine producers make New York’s wine sector a powerful force in the industry.

By adding potential out-of-state customers and New Yorkers living outside the Central New York and Finger Lakes wine regions to existing client bases, we stand to gain additional tax revenue and create new jobs in our communities. New customers of New York’s quality wines will be more inclined to visit our wineries and their beautiful surroundings, thus boosting our tourism industry and the income it generates.

This legislation and its intended effects are good for New York, good for our region and good for our grape growers and wine producers.