SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Wine connoisseurs enjoying easier access to their favorite varieties during the first year of South Dakota’s consumer-direct wine shipping law have had about 14,000 bottles sent to their doors since January, according to state regulators.
The law that went into effect in January allows South Dakotans to buy up to 12 cases of wine per year for personal use from wineries in the state and around the country. Now, 275 wine producers are licensed to offer their wines to consumers in the state, and 1,158 cases had been shipped by the end of June, according to the Department of Revenue.
The department reported on the law’s rollout to a legislative oversight committee this week. Overall, implementation of direct wine shipping has gone pretty well, said Jason Evans, property and special taxes division deputy director.
He said the main issues that have arisen include problems with reporting from wineries for tax purposes and collecting the right information to determine if wine is coming from licensed or unlicensed wineries. There have also been concerns about shippers sending alcohol other than wine to consumers, wine going to retailers and infrequent instances of consumers exceeding the case limit, Evans said.
The agency is working to educate wine producers and wine drinkers about the law as it’s implemented. The plan was pushed by the Sioux Falls-based group South Dakotans for Better Wine Laws.
Group president Donald Roesler said he’s ordered five cases, including top picks from Napa Valley. South Dakota was the only state in the area that didn’t allow direct wine shipping, so that “stirred the brew” enough for supporters to push for the new law, he said.
“The fact is, I still go to the local liquor store to pick up a bottle of wine here, a bottle of wine there, but I have favorites shipped to my home now,” Roesler said.