House passes bill removing wine container limits

bottles of wine
State law currently prohibits selling more than a gallon of wine in a single container.

The House approved legislation Wednesday that does away with size limits on individual containers of wine.

The bill (HB 6037), sponsored by Lighthouse Point Republican Rep. Chip LaMarca, passed 112-6.

Currently, state law prohibits selling more than a gallon of wine in a single container. LaMarca’s bill would do away with that restriction. 

The “no” votes included Reps. Nicholas Duran, Michael Grieco, David Silvers, Jennifer Sullivan, Matt Willhite and Clay Yarborough. Sullivan and Yarborough are Republicans, the others are Democrats.

There’s several other similar bills this year that remove size limitations for individual wine containers. Anthony Sabatini’s (HB 583) also does away with container size limitations on wine and cider, so do bills proposed by Key Largo Republican state Rep. Holly Raschein (HB 1165), Sen. Jeff Brandes (SB 482) and Palm Coast Republican Sen. Travis Hutson (SB 138). 

Although LaMarca’s legislation only deals with wine containers, the other pieces of legislation also address craft distilleries.

Sabatini’s and Raschein’s bills are in the House Commerce Committee, the third and final stop in the House before going to the floor. Brandes’ and Hutson’s legislation has not been heard in committee, which could indicate that chamber’s level of interest in the issue.

The Sabatini, Brandes, Raschein and Hutson bills would also allow restaurant patrons to take home a partially consumed bottle of wine without having to eat a complete meal, including a salad or vegetable, entree, beverage and bread.

Sabatini’s bill also allows craft distilleries to increase the yearly maximum production threshold from 75,000 gallons to 250,000 and stay “craft.” It removes the limitations on the number of bottles per brand per consumer that may be sold in a year and permits distilleries to get a vendor’s license to sell alcohol on-site. His bill, like the others, also allows distillers to ship to out-of-state customers.

Brandes and Raschein’s bills allow distilleries to do tastings. Their legislation also would allow production capacity of up to 250,000 gallons a year. 

Hutson’s bill raises production to 200,000 gallons. 

LaMarca’s bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.

Sarah Mueller

Sarah Mueller has extensive experience covering public policy. She earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism in 2010. She began her career covering local government in Texas, Georgia and Colorado. She returned to school in 2016 to earn a master’s degree in Public Affairs Reporting. Since then, she’s worked in public radio covering state politics in Illinois, Florida and Delaware. If you'd like to contact her, send an email to [email protected].


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