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Bottles of wine are displayed during a tour of a state liquor store Thursday, June 16, 2016, in Salt Lake City. Utah lawmakers toured a state liquor store and warehouse as critics say Utah's alcohol control agency needs more money and stores to meet the demand from residents. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
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New law eases restrictions on buying direct from wineries

Bottles of wine are displayed during a tour of a state liquor store Thursday, June 16, 2016, in Salt Lake City. Utah lawmakers toured a state liquor store and warehouse as critics say Utah's alcohol control agency needs more money and stores to meet the demand from residents. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

PHOENIX — A new law is now in effect that will make it easier for Arizonans to order from wineries.

The law opens the door for wineries to purchase licenses from the state to ship limited amounts of wine to Arizona consumers.

This means Arizona residents can now order wine direct from wineries, without the restrictions that have been in place up until now.

Jeremy Benson, who heads the consumer group, “Free the Grapes”, said the new law expands consumer choice.

“It removes the burdensome winery visit penalty, that is, that the consumer would have to first visit the winery before they could receive a shipment,” Benson said.

On March 31, 2016, Governor Doug Ducey signed Senate Bill 1381, that removed the direct-ship-to-consumer restrictions.

The new law also eliminates another requirement.

“What it does is allow wineries to purchase a license from the state of Arizona to ship a limited amount of wine to Arizona consumers regardless of the production size of the winery,” Benson said.

The state must begin issuing licenses no later than Jan. 1, 2017.

Wineries can ship a maximum of six cases per person in 2017. The allowed quantity goes up to nine cases in 2018, and 12 cases in 2019 and beyond.

Arizona had been one of just a handful of states that placed restrictions on how consumers can order wine.

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