Tennessee’s AG Rules Consumers May Not Bring Wine into Tennessee, Federal On-Site Provision No Longer Applies

Brendan Magauran | February 27, 2009

On February 24th, 2009, Tennessee’s Attorney General issued Opinion No. 09-15, which concluded that consumers may not legally carry any amount of wine on their person into Tennessee. This ruling, prohibiting consumers from carrying wine into Tennessee, means that the federal on-site provision does not apply to consumers in Tennessee. Wineries are therefore prohibited from making shipments via common carrier to Tennessee consumers under any circumstance. All wine must enter Tennessee through the 3-tier system without exception.

On a positive note, a number of favorable direct shipping bills (Bill H 1155, S 166 & S 1690) have been introduced and are currently awaiting action in the Tennessee legislature. If enacted, these bills would create a direct-to-consumer shipping permit for wineries, allowing for the payment of taxes and reporting. Wineries with a permit would be able to ship up to 24 cases a year to Tennessee consumers, depending on which bill might pass.

Annie Bones, State Relations – Wine Institute