Massachusetts: House OKs direct wine shipments

May 2, 2014
Boston Herald
Residents are one step closer to getting wine shipped from out of state to their doorstep after House lawmakers approved a proposal that was included as an amendment to the state budget.

"We overcame a large hurdle, having one branch of the Legislature pass (the bill)," said Theodore Speliotis (D-Danvers), who filed a similar bill. "It has a good chance, but I think it's still a work in progress."

Free The Grapes, a nationwide organization of wineries that has been pushing for direct shipments to the Bay State, applauded the move.

"This is a big step in the right direction," said Jeremy Benson, a spokesman for the group.

Massachusetts consumes the 7th largest amount of wine in the country, but is one of nine states that ban direct shipment.

One of the most high profile supporters of the change is former Patriots quarterback Drew Bledsoe, who now runs a winery in Washington state and lobbied for the change at the State House last year.

The measure would require wineries to purchase a shipping license and bar delivery to anyone under the age of 21. It still needs approval from the state Senate.