N.J. wineries wait for Assembly vote on retail sales

New Jersey winemakers say their future may depend on a measure that’s awaiting final legislative approval.

The state Senate has passed legislation that would allow New Jersey wineries to keep their retail outlets and tasting rooms open and ship directly to consumers.

The chairman the New Jersey Wine Growers Association said he hopes the Assembly will also approve the bill on the final day of its current session next month.

“If it doesn’t pass it could be the end of the business,” said Ollie Tomasello, the owner of Plagido Winery in Hammonton. “What’s sad is there’s so many family farms that have turned into wineries that decades of farmers could lose their businesses.”

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A federal appeals court last year found the state’s current wine sales law unconstitutional because it prevents out-of-state wineries from opening retail outlets in New Jersey. The new law would allow all small-scale wineries to have them.

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