Judge allows Minnesota wineries to use out-of-state grapes
A federal judge has struck down a Minnesota law that prevented wineries from making wine unless a majority of the grapes are grown in Minnesota.
The ruling by U.S. District Judge Wilhelmina Wright said the requirement in the Minnesota Farm Wineries Act is "facially unconstitutional as a violation of the interstate dormant Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution" and favored Minnesota’s economic interests over those of other states.
"This is a huge win for the future of the wine industry and small wineries in Minnesota," said Nan Bailly, owner of Alexis Bailly Vineyard, one of the plaintiffs in the case. "We are finally free to make the wines we want to make, not the wine dictated by the state legislature."
Bailly and The Next Chapter Winery had argued that Minnesota doesn’t require breweries to grow their own hops and grains, calling the law unfair.
Lawyers for the plaintiffs say the ruling has major implications, given that over a dozen other states have similar laws, including New York, Pennsylvania and Illinois.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.