NBC10 Philadelphia - Tim Furlong
A new law is set to go into effect in May will let N.J. wineries to ship directly to customers in most of the country. Out-of-state wineries will be able to ship direct to New Jersey houses. Liquor store owners aren't happy about the new law because they are afraid they will lose business. NBC10's Tim Furlong talks to a local liquor store owner about the law.
"New Jersey is the seventh largest wine grower in the country, so it is a big deal," says Ken Schlager with New Jersey Monthly.
But with growth comes growing pains. A new law set to go into effect in May will allow New Jersey wineries to ship directly to customers in most of the country and out-of-state wineries will be able to ship direct to New Jersey houses as well.
"If it's not broke, why fix it?" asks liquor store owner Michael Maro.
He and other liquor store owners don't like the law. Maro wants people to buy their wine from him. He worries he could go the way of Blockbusters and Borders. Maro thinks local wineries should understand -- even with direct shipping -- they will sell far more wine on local store shelves. Wineries that have sided with him are now getting better shelf space at his store. The wineries that pushed hard for direct shipping, well, you're gonna have to look harder to find their products at Canal's Discount Liquors.
"We built their brands. For the last 15 years we built their brands up and now they want to cut us out and ship directly to the consumer," Maro says.
Anthony Valenzano owns an award-winning winery in Shamong. He has sided with the 450 New Jersey liquor store owners who carry his wine. He thinks they do the best job selling his products.
"I don't think internet sales are going to help us or hurt us either way," Valenzano says. "Your options are really limited selling wine online. It's really about having an experience, having a reasons to come out to our tasting room."