Senate Approves Measure Allowing Direct Wine Shipments to Consumers

HARRISBURG — Consumers could order a wider variety of wines for direct shipment to their home as part of legislation approved by the Senate today, according to Senate Law and Justice Committee Chairman Chuck McIlhinney (R-10).

House Bill 189 would allow all wineries to apply for a license to deliver wine directly to customers. Shippers would be required to verify the customer’s age and mark packaging to indicate its contents.

Under current law, out-of-state wineries may obtain a direct shipper’s permit through the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board. However, the permit limits the amount of wine to be shipped and excludes any wines currently available for sale through state-owned stores. In addition, wine cannot be shipped directly to a resident’s home; it must be picked up at a state-owned store by the purchaser.

“This is not only an issue of convenience, but also a matter of availability,” McIlhinney said. “The current process of ordering wines that aren’t available in state-owned stores creates an unnecessary hassle for consumers, and many wineries will not ship to Pennsylvania due to concerns about retroactive taxes and other complications. This bill will help remove those barriers.”

The bill would also remove the 18 percent Johnstown Flood tax, replacing with an excise and sales tax making Pennsylvania similar to other States. Direct wine shipping will approximately generate millions in additional revenue annually. This legislation will also place limitations on the number of bottles that can be direct shipped, and strengthen penalties for reselling wine.

House Bill 189 was sent to the House of Representatives for concurrence on Senate amendments.

###

CONTACT: Heather Cevasco (717) 787-7305