Wine giant Gallo close to $400 million center in SC


South Bend Winery owner Larry Cozine testifies about a bill allowing wine giant E & J Gallo Winery to open wine tasting rooms as part of building a new $400 million bottling plant and distribution center in South Carolina on Thursday, April 22, 2021, in Columbia, S.C. Cozine recently opened his winery in Greenwood, South Carolina. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina will likely soon tweak its liquor laws to allow the biggest winemaker in the United States to spend $400 million on a new bottling and distribution center in the state.

The House voted 98-11 on Tuesday to approve the bill that would allow California-based E& J Gallo Winery to open tasting rooms where people can sample their wines.

The tasting rooms needed an exception to South Carolina’s quirky liquor laws. Gallo wants to open a site in Chester County to be the center of its East Coast operations and asked for the tasting rooms as part of the deal.

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