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Wine lovers raise a glass to direct shipping law

Associated Press

BOSTON (AP) — Whether it's pinot noir, merlot, chardonnay or cabernet sauvignon, wine lovers in Massachusetts will soon be able to have some of their favorite bottles shipped straight from the vineyards to their homes.

A provision in the new state budget lifts a long-standing prohibition on direct deliveries from wineries to consumers. Out-of-state domestic producers would initially pay $300 for a direct shipper's license, with a $150 renewal fee each subsequent year. Shippers may deliver no more than 12 cases of wine to each individual per year.

All deliveries must be signed for by a person who is 21 years or older.

A campaign to end the ban on direct-to-consumer shipping got a recent boost from former New England Patriots quarterback Drew Bledsoe, who operates a winery in Washington state.