Governor Granholm Signs Wine Shipment Legislation, Supports Michigan's Wine Industry

Contact: Liz Boyd 517-335-6397

December 15, 2005
LANSING – Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today signed legislation that will allow Michigan and out-of-state wineries to ship their products directly to customers in limited amounts.  The Governor signed the two bills while touring a high-tech company in Traverse City.
 
“Protecting Michigan wineries means protecting Michigan jobs,” Granholm said.  “This legislation represents a compromise that will comply with the Supreme Court and, more importantly, protect our local economies.”
 
In May, the United States Supreme Court declared unconstitutional Michigan and New York state laws regulating the sale of wine.  In both cases, in-state wineries were allowed to ship directly to consumers, retailers, and restaurants while out-of-state wineries were not.  The Court ruled that states must treat wine producers equally.
 
The legislation signed today by Granholm will allow licensed wineries to ship up to 1,500 nine-liter cases, or 13,500 liters total, directly to customers each year.  The bills also put regulations in place to ensure that minors cannot get access to wine through direct shipment and allow the Liquor Control Commission to charge an annual license fee of up to $100 to help fund the regulation of direct shipping vendors.
 
“While we are working hard to support our manufacturers and diversify our economy, we must do all that we can to support the tourism and agriculture sectors of our economy that are the lifeblood of many Michigan communities,” said Granholm.
 
Michigan’s grape and wine industry contributes more than $75 million each year to the state’s economy, according to a study conducted by Michigan State University in 2000.  With 42 wineries and more than 1,300 acres of land now dedicated to growing wine grapes, Michigan ranks 9th nationally in production.  The Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council estimates that by 2020, Michigan will have more than 10,000 acres in wine grape production.
 
House Bill 4959 was sponsored by Representative Chris Ward (R-Brighton) and Senate Bill 625 was sponsored by Senator Michelle McManus (R-Lake Leelanau).

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