The state Senate and Assembly have passed a bill that would allow New Jersey wineries, including Silver Decoy Winery in East Windsor, to ship their wine directly to customers.
Under the bill, residents could also have wine shipped directly to them from small out-of-state wineries.
Mark Carduner, an owner of Silver Decoy Winery, said 38 states currently allow shipping in some form, and New Jersey would be number 39 if the bill is signed into law.
The bill, A-4436, which passed Monday in the Assembly 51-18-4 and in the Senate 24-9, now needs Gov. Chris Christie’s signature.
The law would go into effect in May, if Christie signs the bill next week, the Asbury Park Press reported.
According to the bill, wineries that produce up to 250,000 gallons of wine each year can ship up to 12 cases of wine per year to a customer for personal consumption.
Wineries who produce up to 250,000 gallons per year, both in- and out-of-state, can also purchase a permit that will allow them to sell and distribute wine to retailers, the bill stated.
“The bill passing is spectacular because we get to keep our outlets that we earned,” Carduner said.
In the past, out-of-state wineries were not permitted to open outlets after a federal appeals court ruling, the Asbury Park Press reported.
The price of the new permits will be based upon the size of the winery, Carduner said.
Carduner said Silver Decoy had three outlets, but closed them down two years ago because they did not have enough wine to supply them. Licenses for new outlets have been shut down for the past 13 months.
“We’re excited to be able to move through this whole chapter of the New Jersey winery industry. When we started in 2001 there was only 11 wineries in the state but we’re pushing 50 now and we need to keep the growth going,” Carduner said.
Silver Decoy Winery planted their first grapes in 2001, and opened for business at the end of 2004, Carduner said. They produce between 7,000 to 8,000 gallons of wine per year and the winery is built on two pieces of preserved farmland property.
“For us its very important to protect New Jersey agriculture,” Carduner said.