September 19th, 2006
In the previous post, we mention that a group sued Arizona over the discriminatory nature of their 20,000 gallon capacity cap. Now, the Family Winemakers of California, a group representing over 740 small and medium sized wineries, is suing the State of Massachusetts for the same reason. Paul Kronenberg, President of Family Winemakers, said the following about the 30,000 gallon production capacity cap in Massachusetts
Last year, the Supreme Court told Michigan and New York to stop the discrimination. But the Massachusetts legislators have chosen to ignore the Court’s message that we are one national economic market. State laws that protect and perpetuate a wholesaler monopoly at the expense of wineries seeking market opportunities and consumers seeking a wider choice in wine, run counter to the concept of free trade within the nation.
Other hurdles in Massachusetts have effectively kept it closed for direct shipping to date. On top of the 30,000 gallon capacity cap, there is a burdensome 14 page permit application as well as a 240 Liter (26+ cases) per individual volume limit across all wineries. Similar to the rule in Indiana, this would mean the winery that ships the 27th case would be in violation. FedEx and UPS are not shipping to Massachusetts for direct sales.