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Third Circuit Strikes Down Local NJ Wineries Right To Sell Directly To Consumers

December 22, 2010

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In Freeman v. Corzine, the Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals held that a portion of New Jersey's alcoholic beverage control law violated the Commerce Clause by requiring out of state wineries to sell through wholesalers and retailers while allowing local NJ wineries to open shops at their farms to sell directly to consumers. The plaintiff's included wine connoisseurs, a couple seeking more access to Kosher wines and a California winery who had sued NJ for the right to order wine by telephone or online and have it shipped directly to individuals homes. The Court found the bulk of the beverage control statute constitutional except the portion covering local wineries direct sales.
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