Can You Ship Wine to California?

Posted by Benjamin Meskin on Jul 28, 2020 4:44:58 PM
Benjamin Meskin

For retailers and non-retailers alike, making sense of shipping regulations when it comes to shipping alcohol in the United States can be challenging. Each state not only creates its own regulations regarding alcohol shipments, but individual counties within that state may also have fashioned their own rules. So, the question of the day is: can you ship wine to California?

The short answer is, yes, you can. Individuals or retailers with the proper licensing can ship alcohol to California, or from California to different states. Where you live, where and who you are sending to, and how much wine you want to ship are all questions that should be asked before you take your package to the nearest post office.

Can I ship wine to California? Individuals without the proper licenses are not allowed to send alcohol. USPS prohibits the shipping of alcohol by individuals. People who want to ship wine through FedEx or UPS can do so, but have to have the right license and sign an agreement with their chosen shipping carrier. This typically means you must be a commercial entity. At the other end of the shipment, an adult over the age of 21 must sign for the package to obtain it legally. 

In the United States, 44 states allow consumers to order alcohol and have it shipped to them through what is known as Direct-to-Consumer shipping (DTC). This allows alcohol retailers and distributors to tap into markets that may not be in their immediate area. Not all states allow DTC alcohol sales. Depending on where you live, you may not have access to this service. 

Can wine be shipped to California? Yes. California is one of three states that allow reciprocal sales from wineries or alcohol retailers. The other two are New Mexico and Idaho. This means that if a state enables retailers to ship alcohol to California, California will allow the sale of alcohol to those states as well. Alcohol retailers within California can send alcohol within the state. 

States that have banned the shipping of alcohol are:

  • Alabama
  • Delaware
  • Kentucky
  • Mississippi
  • Oklahoma
  • Rhode Island
  • Utah

Although residents may be able to bring wine into these states from across state lines, shipping may be illegal and could be a federal felony. If you have any questions about sending alcohol to these locations, it's best to research their state regulations regarding the interstate sale of alcohol. 

What States Can I Ship Wine To From California?

California allows for reciprocal sales from out of state alcohol retailers. Wine can be shipped to any state from California, excepting the ones listed above. 

Additionally, the following states allow breweries to ship alcohol to consumers (DTC sales) from out of state: 

  • North Dakota
  • New Hampshire
  • Oregon
  • Ohio
  • Vermont
  • Washington, DC

Distilleries may also ship their alcohol from their facility to consumers in North Dakota, New Hampshire, and Nebraska. 

Cabrella can help you determine whether you can ship wine or other alcohols to specific states or locations outside of the United States. 

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How to Ship Wine 

If you're still wondering, “can you ship wine to California?” Here is your answer: if you've received the right licensing and know where you're shipping your wine to, how to ship wine becomes the next question you need to ask. Any fragile or valuable shipment must be packaged carefully, and wine is no different.

Different carriers may require that liquids be double or triple packed, which means shippers need to add one or two waterproof layers inside the final shipping container. Check with your approved shipping carrier for their specific requirements. 

There are ways to safely package the wine to make sure it can withstand the shipping process. Experts recommend using foam inserts or other stabilizers to keep the bottles at the center of the shipping container without touching one another or the sides of the box. The bottle or bottles should fit snugly, without being packed too loosely or too tightly. Absorbent material should be used in the layers of packing material in case there is a leak. 

Additional waterproof layers should be packaged around the wine to prevent any other damage occurring from a leak. If improperly packaged, a leak could end up damaging other packages along its shipping route. 

Once the box has been packed, the pressure-sensitive tape should be used to keep the box's seams from rupturing. The weight of the wine could be a lot more than you anticipate. The exterior of the box should have clear labels indicating the shipment contents and reminders that the box is fragile and should be handled with care. 

Shipping Insurance for Wine 

Cabrella offers third party shipping insurance for items including wine and other alcohols. Purchasing shipping insurance for wine can help shipment delays, damages, or breakages along the way. Remember, things like temperature fluctuations and pressure changes can affect the quality of a bottle of wine. Purchasing shipping insurance helps protect your investment and can give the customer peace of mind when it comes to ensuring their product. 

Cabrella can help get wine to its final destination through tracking analytics, partnerships with domestic and international carriers, and transparent pricing. Users can create a shipment on Cabrella's easy to use app, compare carrier rates, and print shipping labels all in one place. Cabrella allows users to track their shipments using state of the art tracking technology to see where there may be delays or risks along the way. Finally, Cabrella can deliver your shipment where it needs to go through delivery confirmations. 

Cabrella also offers expert packing tips and tricks for getting your shipment ready to go. Cabrella can walk you through the requirements that specific carriers have for liquids and alcoholic items in a shipment that might vary from carrier to carrier.  

Final Thoughts 

Cabrella is your go-to source for reliable and affordable third-party shipping insurance. Whether you are shipping wine for the first time or are a seasoned retailer, Cabrella can give you the support you need to create, track, and deliver your shipment from start to finish. Cabrella users can save on wine shipping insurance through multiple domestic and international carriers. 

Additionally, Cabrella can help clarify any questions you have about shipping wine to or from California. Cabrella regularly updates its database with shipping information and regulations that may change from year to year, giving you the most up to date look at how new rules may impact your shipment. 

To learn more about shipping wine to California, contact the experts at Cabrella at (844) 422-2735. Our professionals will be happy to answer any questions you have. 

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