Senate Bill No. 569
(By Senator Mitchell)
[Originating in the Committee on the Judiciary;
reported February 29, 2000.]
A BILL to amend and reenact sections three and six, article eight,
chapter sixty of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine
hundred thirty-one, as amended, all relating to allowing wine
specialty shops to deliver wine locally and to ship wine in
and out of the state; effective date of the provision; and
allowing wine specialty shops to advertise in catalogues on
the internet and in other media.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That sections three and six, article eight, chapter sixty of
the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as
amended, be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 8. SALE OF WINES.
§60-8-3. Licenses; fees; general restrictions.
(a) Except as to farm wineries as defined by section five-a, article one of this chapter, no person may engage in business in
the capacity of a distributor, retailer or private wine restaurant
without first obtaining a license from the commissioner, nor shall
a person continue to engage in any such activity after his or her
license has expired, been suspended or revoked. No person may be
licensed simultaneously as a distributor and a retailer, as a
distributor and a private wine restaurant, or as a retailer and a
private wine restaurant.
(b) The commissioner shall collect an annual fee for licenses
issued under this article, as follows:
(1) Twenty-five hundred dollars per year for a distributor's
license and each separate warehouse or other facility from which a
distributor sells, transfers or delivers wine shall be separately
licensed and there shall be collected with respect to each such
location the annual license fee of twenty-five hundred dollars as
(2) One hundred fifty dollars per year for a retailer's
(3) Fifty dollars per year for a wine tasting license.
(4) Fifty dollars for each sales representative of or employed
by a licensed distributor.
(5) Two hundred fifty dollars per year for a private wine
restaurant license and each separate restaurant from which a licensee sells wine shall be separately licensed and there shall be
collected with respect to each such location the annual license fee
of two hundred fifty dollars as herein provided.
(6) Twenty-five dollars per year for a West Virginia wine
retailer's license and each separate retail outlet from which a
West Virginia wine retailer sells West Virginia wine shall be
separately licensed and there shall be collected with respect to
each such location the annual license fee of twenty-five dollars as
herein provided. The holder of such a license may sell no wines
except those produced by West Virginia farm wineries as defined by
section five-a, article one of this chapter. Except for the amount
of the license fee and the restriction to sales of West Virginia
wines, a West Virginia wine retailer is subject to all other
provisions of this article which are applicable to a retailer as
defined in section two of this article.
(c) The license period shall begin on the first day of July of
each year and end on the thirtieth day of June of the following
year and, if granted for a less period, the same shall be computed
semiannually in proportion to the remainder of the fiscal year.
(d) No retailer may be licensed as a private club as provided
by article seven of this chapter.
(e) No retailer may be licensed as a Class A retail dealer in
nonintoxicating beer as provided by article sixteen, chapter eleven of this code: Provided, That a delicatessen, a caterer or party
supply store which is a grocery store as defined in section two of
this article and which is licensed as a Class A retail dealer in
nonintoxicating beer may be a retailer under this article:
Provided, however, That any delicatessen, caterer or party supply
store licensed in both such capacities must maintain average
monthly sales exclusive of sales of wine and nonintoxicating beer
which exceed the average monthly sales of nonintoxicating beer.
(f) A retailer under this article may also hold a wine tasting
license authorizing such retailer to serve complimentary samples of
wine in moderate quantities for tasting. Such retailer shall
organize a winetaster's club, which has at least fifty duly elected
or approved dues-paying members in good standing. Such club shall
meet on the retailer's premises not more than one time per week and
shall either meet at a time when the premises are closed to the
general public or shall meet in a separate segregated facility on
the premises to which the general public is not admitted.
Attendance at tastings shall be limited to duly elected or approved
dues-paying members and their guests.
(g) A retailer who has more than one place of retail business
shall obtain a license for each separate retail establishment. A
retailer's license may be issued only to the proprietor or owner of
a bona fide grocery store or wine specialty shop.
(h) The commissioner may issue a special license for the
retail sale of wine at any festival or fair which is endorsed or
sponsored by the governing body of a municipality or a county
commission. Such special license shall be issued for a term of no
longer than ten consecutive days and the fee therefor shall be two
hundred fifty dollars regardless of the term of the license unless
the applicant is the manufacturer of said wine on a farm winery as
defined in section five-a, article one of this chapter, in which
event the fee shall be twenty-five dollars. The application for
such license shall contain such information as the commissioner may
reasonably require and shall be submitted to the commissioner at
least thirty days prior to the first day when wine is to be sold at
such festival or fair. A farm winery licensed under this
subsection may exhibit, conduct tastings, not to exceed a
reasonable serving, and may sell wine only for consumption off the
premises of such festival or fair. A special license issued other
than to a farm winery may be issued to a "wine club" as defined
hereinbelow. The festival or fair committee or the governing body
shall designate a person to organize a club under a name which
includes the name of the festival or fair and the words "wine
club". The license shall be issued in the name of the wine club.
A licensee may not commence the sale of wine as provided for in
this subsection until the wine club has at least fifty dues-paying members who have been enrolled and to whom membership cards have
been issued. Thereafter, new members may be enrolled and issued
membership cards at any time during the period for which the
license is issued. A wine club licensed under the provisions of
this subsection may sell wine only to its members, and in portions
not to exceed eight ounces per serving. Such sales shall take
place on premises or in an area cordoned or segregated so as to be
closed to the general public, and the general public shall not be
admitted to such premises or area. A wine club licensee under the
provisions of this subsection shall be authorized to serve
complimentary samples of wine in moderate quantities for tasting.
A license issued under the provisions of this subsection and
the licensee holding such license shall be subject to all other
provisions of this article and the rules, regulations and orders of
the commissioner relating to such special license: Provided, That
the commissioner may by rule, regulation or order provide for
certain waivers or exceptions with respect to such provisions,
rules, regulations or orders as the circumstances of each such
festival or fair may require, including, without limitation, the
right to revoke or suspend any license issued pursuant to this
section prior to any notice or hearing notwithstanding the
provisions of section twelve of this article: Provided, however,
That under no circumstances shall the provisions of subsection (c) or (d), section twenty of this article be waived nor shall any
exception be granted with respect thereto.
A license issued under the provisions of this subsection and
the licensee holding such license shall not be subject to the
provisions of subsection (g) of this section.
(i) A license to sell wine granted to a private wine
restaurant under the provisions of this article entitles the
operator to sell and serve wine, for consumption on the premises of
the licensee, when such sale accompanies the serving of food or a
meal to its members and their guests in accordance with the
provisions of this article. Such licensees are authorized to keep
and maintain on their premises a supply of wine in such quantities
as may be appropriate for the conduct of operations thereof. Any
sale of wine so made shall be subject to all restrictions set forth
in section twenty of this article. A private wine restaurant may
also be licensed as a Class A retail dealer in nonintoxicating beer
as provided by article sixteen, chapter eleven of this code.
(j) With respect to subsections (h) and (i) of this section,
the commissioner shall promulgate legislative rules in accordance
with the provisions of chapter twenty-nine-a of this code with
regard to the form of the applications, the suitability of both the
applicant and location of the licensed premises and such other
deemed considered necessary to carry the provisions of such subsections into effect.
(k) The commissioner shall promulgate legislative rules in
accordance with the provisions of chapter twenty-nine-a of this
code to allow restaurants to serve West Virginia wine with meals,
but not to sell the wine by the bottle. Each restaurant so
licensed shall be charged a fee less than that charged for a wine
license to a retail outlet, such fees to be set forth in the
aforementioned rules promulgated pursuant to this subsection.
(l) The commissioner shall establish guidelines to permit West
Virginia wines to be sold in state stores.
(m) Farm wineries as defined in section one-a of this article
and wine specialty shops as defined in section two of this article
may advertise off premises as provided in section seven, article
twenty-two, chapter seventeen and in any other media, including,
but not limited to, newspaper, radio, television, magazines,
catalogues, the internet and direct mail solicitation.
§60-8-6. License or registration required for sale or shipment of
wine; shipment of limited quantities of wine to adult
(a) Except as to the commissioner and except as provided in
subsection (b) of this section and section twelve, article six of
this chapter, no person may offer for sale or sell wine in this
state, or offer wine for shipment into this state, except to a distributor who is duly licensed under this article. Every person,
whether resident or nonresident in this state, who is engaged in or
desires to engage in the sale or shipment of wine to a distributor
for resale under this article shall, prior to engaging in such
activities, register with the commissioner. If any such person
violates the provisions of this article, he or she shall not be
permitted to sell, ship or deliver any wine to a distributor or to
the commissioner, or otherwise engage in the wine business in this
state for a period of one year from the date a notice is mailed to
such person by the commissioner of the fact that such person has
violated the provisions of this article. During such one-year
period, it shall be unlawful for any distributor within this state
to buy or receive wine from such person or to have any dealings
with such person with respect thereto. Hearings and appeals on
such notices may be had in the same manner as in the case of
revocations of licenses under this article.
(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of this chapter or any
other law to the contrary, an adult resident or a duly licensed
retailer or distributor of alcoholic beverages in a state or nation
which affords adults and duly licensed retailers and distributors
of this state an equal reciprocal shipping privilege may ship, for
personal use and not for resale, not more than two cases of wine
per month, not to exceed eighteen liters of wine in any month to any adult resident in this state. Delivery of a shipment pursuant
to this section shall not be
deemed considered to constitute a sale
in this state. The shipping container of any wine sent into or out
of this state under this subsection shall be clearly labeled to
indicate that the package cannot be delivered to any person under
the age of twenty-one or to an intoxicated person. No adult
resident or duly licensed retailer or distributor may advertise the
availability of wines by shipment to residents of this state.
(c) Effective the first day of April, two thousand, any person
or entity that holds a current valid wine specialty shop license
shall be authorized to deliver or transport or cause to be
delivered or transported wine in and through the state to a
purchaser who is twenty-one years of age or older. The shipping
container of any wine transported or delivered under this provision
shall be clearly labeled to indicate that the package cannot be
delivered to any person under the age of twenty-one years or to an
(NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to allow wine specialty
shops to deliver wine locally and to ship wine in and out of the
state. The bill also would allow wine specialty shops to advertise
wine and beer as part of a gift basket or beer kit in catalogues
and on the internet.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from
the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would