Judge Allows Minnesota Wineries To Use Out-of-state Grapes

Posted: Sep 02, 2020

U.S. District Judge Wilhelmina Wright ruled Monday that the state Farm Wineries Act of 1980 posed an unconstitutional and unjustified barrier to interstate commerce that favored Minnesota's economic interests over those of other states. Lawyers for the plaintiffs said the ruling has major implications across the country, given that over a dozen states have similar laws, including New York, Pennsylvania and Illinois.

The Minnesota wineries that filed the lawsuit in 2017 said grape varieties that can grow in harsh northern climates often produce wines that are too acidic for most consumers, so wineries will blend in wine or juice from grapes grown elsewhere to improve the taste. They said the state law that required them to use a majority of Minnesota grapes handicapped them from producing a broader variety of wines that consumers might want.

Anthony Sanders, an attorney for the group, called the ruling a vindication for the “founding ideal of free trade.” The group said other states with similar laws may now face challenges to their restrictions.

By Steve Carnowski
Source and complete article by: abcnews.go.com

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