Minnesota Wineries Are Suing Over Restrictions That Prevent Them From Using Grapes From Outside The State

in business •  last year 

Minnesota has current restrictions in place that require wineries in the state to have most of their grapes grown in the region.

But some farmers have issue with this restriction and as a result they launched a lawsuit to challenge it.

A year ago the case had been tossed out, with the judge arguing that the wineries didn't have any legal standing to contest the current restrictions. However, a federal appeals court has ruled differently, and now the case will be going back to the same judge.

The appeals court ruled that the previous judge had been wrong and they insisted that the wineries do have legitimate standing to challenge the restrictions that demand they mostly only use grapes that are being grown in the state.

The two wineries behind the lawsuit are arguing that the laws violate the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution by placing arbitrary limits on the use of grapes that are coming from out-of-state.

If we are seeking to pursue and uphold liberty and freedom, then the wineries should be free to use whatever grapes they want.

Farm wineries in the state are allowed to sell directly to consumers only if 51 percent or more of their ingredients are coming from within the state, it also needs to be produced on their land.

Some farmers want more freedom and more options in how they might go about getting their grapes.

One lawyer for the two farm wineries behind the lawsuit argued that this is an example of explicit discrimination taking place against out-of-state goods and the Constitution permits for the free flow of goods as well as services, across state borders. The two farm wineries say that they've been looking to expand and they say that they currently can't get enough product from Minnesota, it's preventing them from being able to grow and succeed.

Since the judge already tossed it out once, arguing that they didn't have any legal ground to stand on, it will be rather surprising if they see a ruling in their favor, but I am still hoping.


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"Arguing that they didn't have any legal ground to stand on," is a tough thing to say, considering I can't imagine there's much legal ground going the other way either. This sounds very isolationist, although, it's strange to have isolationist policy on a state-by-state basis, in the United States. I had always thought that the USA was a unified nation of multiple states, more for the purpose of dividing power up to grant additional freedom, and prevent oppression, rather than as a reason to prevent trade and contact.

I’ve been to Alexis Bailly but am surprised that anything other than 100% of the grapes they use are theirs. I’ve always thought that the distinction between a vineyard and a winery was that a vineyard only used their own grapes but a winery used theirs and/or that of other growers.