Lodi Winemaker's Case to be Heard Before US Supreme Court

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, December 6, 2004
Lucas Winery of Lodi is one of several wineries, which challenged New York's ban on direct wine shipping in 2001. Their lawsuit argued that only Congress could regulate interstate commerce. Two years ago, a New York federal appeals court decided that states could ban the direct shipments -- but around the same time, a Michigan appeals court ruled in favor of the wineries in a similar case. The case being heard by the Supreme Court is a consolidation of those lawsuits. Jeremy Benson represents an organization of small California wineries. He says direct shipping is critical to growth -- and survival. BENSON :09—For many small wineries their direct to consumer business through their tasting room and on line and news letters represents 50 to 75 percent of their business. The states contend direct shipment of wine makes it easy for teenagers to obtain alcoholic beverages. The court isn't expected to reach a decision on the case until the spring of next year. Bob Hensley KXJZ News.