NJ direct-ship wine battle heats up

From the Asbury Park Press

A trio of towheads scoot around the gnarly vineyards and country-chic tasting room of Wagonhouse Winery, giving chase to their parents, Dan and Heather Brown, as they tend to grapes on their 11 acres and customers stopping by for a bottle of pinot gris.

When Dower, Dawson and Dallas, ages 3 to 7, dash into the large structure designed for shipping and distribution, the Browns fret less: It’s more of a playroom for the boys than the busy commercial operation imagined when built earlier this year in South Harrison, Gloucester County.

Unless a much-debated, much-delayed bill allowing direct shipping of wines in and out of New Jersey is passed by the Legislature in January and signed into law by Gov. Chris Christie, the distribution center will remain an oversize playroom for the Brown boys.

The battle between boosters of direct shipping, who believe it will help fuel economic growth, and the retail alcoholic beverage industry which believes it will cut its profits, has been termed a “David vs. Goliath” fight that once again will go to the mats in the Statehouse.

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