Wine legislation would allow consumers to ship wine into state - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Wine legislation would allow consumers to ship wine into state

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If you're a wine lover, you likely already know this -- South Dakotans can't purchase wines directly from wineries.

We're only one of nine states that still has a ban on regulated direct shipments of wine. But a proposal in our state legislature looks to change that.

Here's how South Dakota's law works now -- if you went to California, visited a winery and fell in love with a specific wine, you wouldn't be able to mail a bottle -- or case -- back home.

This new bill would change that -- allowing more choices for consumers.

What would this mean for our local wineries?

Don South of Strawbale Winery is able to ship his wine directly to his consumers in almost every state, but South Dakota's not one of them.

That said, anyone in South Dakota can buy Strawbale Wine if they live within 20 miles of a grocery store or liquor store.

"Because of the way the South Dakota law is written, we're able to self distribute. So we can ship our wine to any bar, off sale grocery store that has a wine license the way it is right now," said South.

South says he doesn't think this bill would affect him as an owner of a winery.

"As a wine person, I would like to have wine shipped to me. As a winery, I don't think it's a big deal, frankly," said South.

South says consumers are already finding ways to have these wines shipped to them by using out of state addresses.

"All of that revenue is gone from the state. They're getting none of that. Iowa's getting it, Minnesota is getting it, whoever the state is that's having it dropped off, because we don't allow that," said South.

But he'd like to see South Dakota benefit from these sales -- something this bill would allow. He also says the change would give consumers a chance to try wines they wouldn't otherwise have access to.

"The South Dakota Wine Growers Association have taken a neutral stance on this bill because we think it's probably to our benefit to stay out of the way and let the consumer that really benefits from this, let them lead the charge on this particular bill," said South

South said the liquor lobby is still very strong in South Dakota, something he sees impacting the vote.


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