Assembly Bill Package to Support & Promote NJ’s Wineries & Vineyards Clears Assembly

Legislative package sponsored by Mazzeo, Andrzejczak and Burzichelli would boost promotion & provide assistance for capital improvements

(TRENTON) – A legislative package sponsored by Assembly Democrats Vince Mazzeo, Bob Andrzejczak and John Burzichelli to support and promote the state’s wineries and vineyards was approved Thursday by the General Assembly.

The first bill (A-446), sponsored by Mazzeo, Andrzejczak and Burzichelli, would direct the Department of Transportation (DOT), the New Jersey Turnpike Authority (NJTA), and the South Jersey Transportation Authority (SJTA) to permit any holder of a plenary winery license or farm winery license to have signs along freeways, interstate highways or toll roads that identify and provide directional information to wineries. The bill would take effect immediately.

“New Jersey has become a destination for wine aficionados,” said Mazzeo (D-Atlantic). “It makes economic sense to promote our wineries along our main highways to make them easier to find for tourists, and to reach others who might not be aware of the state’s thriving wine industry.”

“Allowing these signs on these heavily traveled roads is a great way to promote the wineries that are putting New Jersey on the map,” said Andrzejczak (D-Cape May/Atlantic/Cumberland).

“More and more people are starting to recognize New Jersey as a prime wine destination,” said Burzichelli (D-Cumberland/Gloucester/Salem). “This is a simple, but effective way to bring greater attention to our wineries.”

The second bill (A-2643), sponsored by Burzichelli, would require the Director of the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control to authorize a winery to operate a salesroom in a municipality that prohibits the retail sale of all alcoholic beverages, including wine, or certain types of wine for consumption (tastings) on the licensed premises. The bill would take effect immediately.

“Not being able to sell their wine denies these businesses important revenue,” said Burzichelli. “This change can help these businesses thrive and contribute to the local and state economies.”

The first bill (A-446) was approved 76-0 and the second bill (A-2643) was approved 66-2-7. Both bills now await further consideration in the Senate.