Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signed SB 1030 today, May 20, 2011, to open the entire state of Tennessee to direct wine shipments. Though officially Tennessee allowed wineries to apply for a license to ship wine into the state beginning July 1, 2009, licensed shippers have only been able to ship wine to some parts of the state. SB 1030 passed with no amendments and with little discussion on the floor.
Consumers and wineries alike can celebrate the passage of this bill that opens up an additional 65% of the state to direct wine shipments, while also eliminating confusion on which portions of the state allow it. The Tennessee General Assembly Fiscal Review Committee estimates that increased wine shipping will boost state revenue by $1.7 million and local revenue by $430,000 through tax collection alone.
Approximately 35% of wineries that ship wine direct are licensed to ship into Tennessee. The increased market access is likely to encourage additional wineries to add Tennessee to their direct shipping programs, meaning more consumer choice and increased state revenue. This new legislation goes into effect immediately.