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Shipping Wine Direct to Consumers

Many states already allow wineries to ship directly to customers, but there are a few hold-outs. Massachusetts is among those, but that might soon change. As it stands, wineries within Massachusetts cannot ship their wine to any other state, nor can any consumer buy wine from any other state. If the amendment before the state passes, consumers will have a lot more choices and freedoms when purchasing wine. Of course, there are stipulations, buyers must be 21 or over and have an ID when signing for the wine, and there is a limit to how much wine can be shipped to an individual: 12 cases of wine, with no more than 9 liters per case, or about 12 standard bottles.

More interesting than the sale of wine is the affect it will have on the packaging industry and distribution centers. The amendment states that the boxes must be labeled to state that it is intended for someone of legal drinking age. Since there can only be 9 liters of wine per case, there will have special packaging to be able to hold that kind of weight. A standard bottle of wine is about 750ml, which allows 12 bottles per case. However, if a winery were to offer alternative size bottles, the packaging would have to accommodate that.

Distribution centers in other states may already be well prepared for shipping and receiving wine, but this may come as a challenge for those in Massachusetts. Temperature controlled storage and the ability for long term storage will be very important. Security and surveillance will also be very important, but should not be a problem for most distribution centers, which have other merchandise to care for as well. Most importantly though will be the proper handling of the wine. With the proper packaging, the wine will be able to withstand some rough handling, but care must still be given especially when loading the wine for transport.

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