Challenge to Minnesota's In-State Grape Growing Requirement Rejected


Last year, two Minnesota wineries brought a case challenging the state's requirement that all state-based wineries use Minnesota grapes in their wine (a requirement that doesn't apply to breweries in the state who frequently purchase out-of-state hops and other ingredients). Represented by the Institute for Justice, the wineries argued that the restriction violated the U.S. Constitution. According to the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, however, a federal judge has rejected the challenge (although there are plans for an appeal):

A federal judge has rejected a lawsuit brought by a pair of Minnesota vineyards objecting to a Minnesota law that most state wineries must use mostly Minnesota grapes to make their wine.

The Star Tribune reports on the ruling, which dealt a blow to New Prague's Next Chapter Winery and  Alexis Bailly Vineyard in Hastings, which had claimed that the state rule unfairly hampered their business by blocking them from using, say, mostly California grapes in their Minnesota wine.

U.S. District Judge Wilhelmina Wright didn't rule on the merits of the state's law but said the wineries lacked grounds to sue because they had a way around it. Minnesota lets wineries that obtain a manufacturing license to make wine with any grapes they choose. But that would mean giving up direct sales to consumers, because of a separate state law...

More here.