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A major victory for wineries across the U.S. The Supreme Court ruled that states can't prohibit out of state wine shipments to consumers. The decision will affect local wineries and retailers.
Paul and Merrell Bonarrigo, owners of Messina Hof, have something to smile about. The couple can now sell their wine anywhere in the United States. In years past some states banned wineries from shipping directly to customers, but the high court says that's discriminatory and anti-competitive.
" Texas is now the 3rd largest wine producing state and there's a tremendous demand for our product in other states, now this is going to provide the opportunity to get it shipped to those states," said Paul Bonarrigo.
The Bonarrigo's have served their wines at major events all over the U.S. and were often unable to ship wines to those who expressed an interest.
" We get 20 to 30 calls a week from out of state wanting our wines," said Bonarrigo.
Now Messina Hof will have an entire new customer base thanks to online and phone sales.
But not everyone is thrilled about the high court's decision. J.J. Ruffino, owner of J.J.'s Wholesale Liquor stores, sees the up and down sides.
" From a consumer standpoint it makes good sense, but from a retailers standpoint, the dollars that are not spent in the local economy will have an effect on all of us. Small retailers, small businessman , those folks won't be able to have those dollars to invest in their communities," said Ruffino.
Ruffino says he is also concerned about wine being shipped to minors, but he'll wait and see how the law is regulated. He also says a drawback to ordering is that people won't get a chance to taste the wine and speak one on one with a professional.
But no matter how you choose to purchase your wine, you'll soon be able to get it from coast to coast.
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