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Is Shipping Wine Legal?

Great question, and one that I get asked all the time.  The answer to whether shipping wine is legal primarily depends on two considerations: (1) where you are; and (2) who is shipping the wine.

Where Are You?

First, wine shipments must generally be legal in your location.  When congress ratified the 21st amendment, they largely gave the authority to regulate alcohol to the states.  As such, most of the time this is a state-level issue in the sense that your state’s legislature has either made wine shipments legal or not.  However, there is the issue of dry counties.  Some states allow shipments to such counties, while other states do not. 

Who Is Shipping the Wine?

The second consideration is related to the first.  Approximately 40 states currently allow some form of direct-to-consumer (DTC) wine shipments, meaning that the wine is sold by the winery rather than some sort of middleman.  Only about a dozen states allow wine shipments from out-of-state retailers (middlemen).   Furthermore, if a winery wants to ship DTC, they must have procured the appropriate license or permit in the state to which they are seeking to ship.  Often times and for various reasons, wineries do not obtain such credentials in all 40 DTC states.

That's A Lot to Think About

So, how can you be expected to consider all this?  You’re not – we’ve streamlined the entire process to the point that if you enter your zip code on Winestyr, you will only see products that ship to your location.  Boom!

For additional info on DTC wine shipping check out www.freethegrapes.org or www.wineinstitute.org.

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