The PA Limited Winery Act of 1968 was a landmark piece of legislation that helped to revitalize the Pennsylvania wine industry.
Prior to its passage, Pennsylvania wineries could only legally produce up to 5,000 gallons of wine per year, and could not sell their wine directly to the public. The Limited Winery Act raised these limits to 50,000 gallons per year and allowed wineries to sell their wine directly to consumers, hotels, restaurants, and clubs.
A number of factors led to the passage of the Limited Winery Act. Since prohibition, the state wine industry had never truly recovered. Most wineries had closed, and those that remained were struggling to compete with larger wineries in other states. In addition, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) had a monopoly on the sale of alcoholic beverages in the state, which made it difficult for wineries to find markets for their products.
The Limited Winery Act was designed to address these challenges. By raising the production limits and allowing wineries to sell their wine directly to consumers, the act made it more feasible for wineries to operate in Pennsylvania. In addition, the act helped to create a new market for Pennsylvania wines, as consumers began to discover the quality of wines produced in the state.
Sponsored by State Representative Ed DiSalle — who was a strong advocate for the Pennsylvania wine industry — the act was passed by the Pennsylvania General Assembly on July 31, 1968 and took effect on January 1, 1969.
The Limited Winery Act has had a lasting impact on the Pennsylvania wine industry. In the years since the act was passed, the number of wineries in Pennsylvania has increased from just a few dozen to over 200. The industry has also grown in terms of production, with Pennsylvania now producing over 2 million gallons of wine per year.
The Limited Winery Act is still in effect today, and it continues to play an important role in the Pennsylvania wine industry. The act has helped to make Pennsylvania a leading producer of wine in the United States, and it has also created a new source of economic activity for the state.
Here is a summary of recent amendments to the law:
- 2004 amendment: this allowed limited wineries to sell their wine to other wineries, which helped to create a more vibrant and interconnected wine industry in Pennsylvania.
- 2011 amendment: this increased the production limit for limited wineries from 50,000 gallons to 150,000 gallons per year, allowed limited wineries to ship their wine directly to consumers, allowed limited wineries to sell their wine to restaurants and bars that have a liquor license, and allowed limited wineries to open tasting rooms that are open to the public.
- 2013 amendment: This allowed limited wineries to sell their wine to hotels and restaurants that have a liquor license, but do not have a full-service bar, which helped to expand the market for Pennsylvania wines, and boosted tourism in the state.
- 2022 amendment: This allowed limited wineries to ship their wine to consumers in all 50 states. This was designed to help limited wineries reach a wider audience, and it has been credited with helping to increase sales for Pennsylvania wineries.
In sum, the Limited Winery Act is a significant piece of legislation that has had a major impact on the Pennsylvania wine industry. The act has helped to revitalize the industry, create new jobs, and boost the state’s economy.