A bill signed into law by Governor Chris Christie allows the state's smaller winery businesses to directly ship wine to customers in other states across the country.

The bill applies to wineries that produce 250,000 gallons or less per year. Many of the state's wineries are in rural areas, where the relationship is weak between the winery and wholesalers. Much of their business would be made through tasting rooms and wine festivals.

New Jersey is currently ranked seventh in the national for total wine production, but the state’s ban on direct shipping has caused the state’s wine industry to be uncompetitive with other wineries, and suffer a significant loss of potential business.

“This is a great day for the New Jersey wine industry and for our economy in general.  New Jersey’s wines are now considered among some the best in the nation, but rules and regulations had suffocated the industry for far too long.  That will all now change.  Most importantly, this will spur the kind of economic growth we sorely need in the state right now,” said Steve Sweeney, sponsor of the measure in the Senate.

The law also allows both in-state and out-of-state small wineries to operate outlets in New Jersey.