Legislation Assembly members Nelson Albano and Celeste Riley sponsored to promote agricultural tourism and wineries in New Jersey was approved Monday by the full Assembly.
The bill (A-2495), approved by a vote of 78 – 0, would allow wineries to participate in any tourist-related directional sign program established by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.
“You may not have to live on a farm to enjoy New Jersey’s agriculture, but you surely need to know how to find these places,” said Albano (D-Atlantic/Cape May/Cumberland). “These agricultural establishments are an important sector of New Jersey’s economy, but they are under economic pressures caused by ever-increasing development. They need more than local residents as their primary customer base.”
“Winery tours and the fine products offered by New Jersey wineries are key parts of our cultural and tourism trade industries, and we as a state should cooperate in promoting their efforts,” said Riley (D-Cumberland/Gloucester/Salem). “If we’re already investing in directional sign programs to help other businesses, I see no reason why we wouldn’t offer the same to wineries that play a key role in our economic development.”
The bill sponsored by Albano and Riley would allow plenary and farm winery licensees to be deemed eligible for participation in any tourist-oriented directional sign program established by the Commissioner of the Department of Transportation, if the entrance for tourists to such licensee’s premises is located within three miles of the state or interstate highway system.
The bill now heads to the Senate for approval.