Wineries in N.J. say court may sour sales

    As Pennsylvania eyes a debate on disbanding the PLCB, New Jersey has its own battle under way.

    As reported in the Inquirer, small winemakers, such as Auburn Road Vineyard & Winery, which boutique wines in honor of the USS New Jersey, “feel endangered by a ruling that overturned a state law giving special sales privileges to New Jersey wineries.”

    In December, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled that New Jersey unconstitutionally discriminates against out-of-state wineries by permitting only in-state wineries to sell directly to consumers and retailers.

    The appeals court sent the case back to a lower court with two basic options: Give out-of-state wineries the same right, or prohibit all wineries from selling directly to consumers.

    Now New Jersey’s 39 wineries say they fear the court will make the second choice, which, in their words, would mean the state’s wine industry would cease to exist.

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