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DeSantis signs bill allowing larger bottles for Florida wineries

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(The Center Square) — Florida residents will be able to upsize their wine purchases after Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law on Thursday.

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed House Bill 583, which will allow Florida winemakers and distributors to legally sell bottles of wine up to 15 liters, almost four gallons. Previously, wine distributors and manufacturers were restricted from selling their products to everyday Florida customers in anything larger than a one-gallon container.

“So, we’re here today to talk about wine and to talk about something that I know is near and dear to the hearts of many people in our state, and to be frank, it’s something that was near and dear to the hearts of a lot of people that founded this country,” DeSantis said.

DeSantis stated that historians have said that wine was used to toast the signing of the Declaration of Independence. They added that it was reported that George Washington would drink wine every evening.

“As somebody who has often cited Washington’s example as something people in political office should follow, I knew we had to work with the Legislature to ensure that Florida was living up to those great traditions,” DeSantis said.

DeSantis said the Legislature looked at laws that were not working for Florida businesses and for Florida consumers. DeSantis added that the previous laws were “odd” because a customer was able to order a 15-liter bottle online but not physically buy one in a store.

“There was really no public policy reason why we should have this regulation, and this is a regulation that was something that had been in place for many many decades,” DeSantis said.

DeSantis noted that this legislation is an example of Florida cutting through unnecessary red tape.

“We want our businesses to thrive, we want our consumers to be happy,” DeSantis said.

Bill sponsor Rep. Chip LaMarca, R-Lighthouse Point, stated that putting forward the legislation was an easy thing to do and just made sense.

Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation Secretary Melanie S. Griffin thanked DeSantis for making it easier for more than 51,000 DBPR licensees to succeed in their businesses.

“Under the governor’s leadership, Florida continues to cut red tape and make it easier to do business in our state…I want to take a moment to emphasize how important it is to Florida businesses,” Griffin said.