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Wine lovers, it’s time to celebrate!

On May 10, 2011, Governor Martin O’Malley signed into law a bill that will allow Direct-to-Consumer shipments of wine from certain wineries to Marylanders. Qualified wineries are those that hold “Direct Shipper’s Permits” which wineries can obtain from the State for $200 per year.

Consumers may begin ordering wine for delivery to their doorstep on July 1, 2011. Maryland wine enthusiasts may have up to 18 cases per year shipped directly to their front doors, under the new law.

Maryland now joins the ranks of the 37 other states (and D.C.) that allow Direct-to-Consumer wine sales. It has not been legal to ship or to receive shipment of wine in Maryland since 1933. Interestingly, this was one of the most uncontroversial bills presented to the Maryland Legislature this session. It passed the Senate 47-0 and the House 135-1.