Letters: What's the status of Kentucky wine sales?


I now live in Kentucky, but have family in California who are wine producers.

What I want to know is what the current situation is in Kentucky for ordering out-of-state wines?

My cousins' winery is Heringer Estates. I have wanted to order for a couple of years now, but so far have been prevented from doing so.

-- Thomas in Kentucky


In 2005, U.S. District Judge Charles Simpson in Louisville said the state of Kentucky could not enforce its criminal statute against out-of-state wineries shipping into Kentucky. His ruling also struck down provisions of then-current Kentucky law requiring consumers who want wine shipped to order it in person.

In February 2007, Kentucky state regulators opened the door to shipments from small-farm wineries (those that produce no more than 50,000 gallons of wine annually) both inside and outside Kentucky when they dropped out of a federal lawsuit over the issue.

That decision means that 43 licensed wineries in Kentucky are now able to ship wine to customers who place phone or online orders. Small wineries in other states are eligible to do the same if they are licensed by Kentucky to do so.

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