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.

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    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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