Shipping wine from South Africa to California

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May 25th, 2007, 06:00 PM
  #1
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Shipping wine from South Africa to California

Hi,

I am leaving for South Africa in just over two weeks. I will be visiting the wine country outside of Cape Town and was hoping to ship some wine back home to California. Someone just told me that they had read that wineries (and maybe wine stores) in South Arcia will not ship wine to California. is this correct? For those of you from California, how have you gotten wines back here from there? Can you send it by parcel post or some other way on your own after purchasing wine in country? Or is no one allowed to ship wine from South Africa to California?

One other note: we are doing a safari in Botswana and going to Vic Falls AFTER our stay in South Africa. We will be transitting through Johannesburg, though, on our way back to the US. Does Johannesburg Airport have a good selection of decent quality, duty free South African wines? If they do, we can hand carry wine back per the US duty free liquor allowance. Getting decent South African wine that I cannot get easily in the US is be the main priority.

Any help or recommendations are appreciated.

Thanks.

John H.
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May 25th, 2007, 06:51 PM
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the JNB airport has quite a large selection of SA wines. I don't know how you would carry them on if going through Heathrow or even connecting from one U.S. city to another with the liquid ban. Maybe they have those styrofoam things, but the selection is impressive.
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May 25th, 2007, 08:38 PM
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Why they trying to keep out competition for their own CA made wines?
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May 25th, 2007, 08:51 PM
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You cannot carry wine through JNB airport as a carry-on. The new restrictions went into effect, and it is the same quart sized baggie, with 3 ounce containers or smaller inside the ziplock. Plan on putting the wine in your checked luggage!!
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May 25th, 2007, 09:23 PM
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The winery I visited in Stellenbosch shipped to CA and also has a distributor 1/2 mile from my house. I packed a couple bottles in my checked bag which made it back safely.
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May 25th, 2007, 09:49 PM
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Thanks so much for all the replies. I don't know HOW I forgot that the transfers with carrying on wine would be a huge problem, lol.

I also know that technically, alcohol is banned from checked luggage because it is flammable.

Hi, CarlaM -- can you provide me with the name of the winery in South Africa? I could email or call them directly and see if there is indeed a ban on exporting to California or not (or what the extent of any partial ban is).

Thanks so much.

John H.
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May 25th, 2007, 11:21 PM
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I didn't know that you can't pack wine in your checked bags. According to the TSA website it is ok. I never (knowingly) break the rules.

This is the distributor information:
http://tinyurl.com/2v3cyh

The Wine Desk at the Waterfront-Wine Tourism Consultants
http://tinyurl.com/2bk2zd

You can email me for their address and website.

Cheers!



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May 26th, 2007, 12:40 AM
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Interesting about the flammability,I never thought about that but then again technically hair spray is flammable too! Heathrow and TSA say you can purchase booze at duty free shops, but you need to put into check- in bags because the no carry on liquids is now in effect for Africa as well as Europe and the US. hmmmmmm
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May 26th, 2007, 01:08 AM
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Napamatt should be able to tell you whether South African wine is available in California, and if not, why not.

South Australia is a big producer of wine, and our biggest liquor stores stock wine from most of the world's major wine regions, including South Africa...naturally, not as wide a range as you would find in each of the regions themselves, but some. So I wouldn't bother with the hassle of bringing any from overseas.

I once took a bottle of best South Australian red to Zimbabwe as a gift for a safari guide because I was told he loved Aussie red wine. Foolishly, I packed it securely into an old Scotch tube for transport in my check-in baggage. Well, my packing did the trick. The bottle survived unbroken. But the guide thought it was Scotch and tucked it under the driver's seat of his truck for the duration of the safari. I haven't been game to ask him if it travelled well

John

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May 26th, 2007, 07:51 AM
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I recently ordered some South African wine from Southern Wines based in California--www.southernwines.com.

I was impressed with their selection and it is much more economical than paying for shipping from SA to the US.
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May 26th, 2007, 07:59 AM
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The website is www.southernwines.com
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May 26th, 2007, 08:09 AM
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Geez.....we've broken the "rules" for years - if it's true that wine can't/isn't supposed to go in checked baggage!!!

It was in South Africa that we first got the heavy styrofoam boxes (inside cardbard boxes) especially made for checking wine on airplanes! Although the boxes could be checked alone, we always put them in our luggage (big duffle bags). I've even used them to transport wine from the US to our overseas locals. And our collection of boxes are frequently borrowed by friends.

Another thought, some of the wineries market their wines under different names for exporting purposes. Why not ask what names they use - they might be available near to where you live.
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May 27th, 2007, 11:19 AM
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Many south african wines are widely available in the US, particularly California. The Wine Spectator has been doing features and wines they review are available.

Try www.winesearcher.com
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May 27th, 2007, 11:54 AM
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We bought wine at the duty free at JNB and after lugging it all the way home in our carry-on(in '03) opened it just to discover it had turned! The JNB duty free wine was in a sunny, warm area so we should've known better.
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May 27th, 2007, 03:56 PM
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To answer the OP, my understanding is that individuals cannot ship wines to themselves from outside the U.S. unless they possess an alcohol import license.
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May 27th, 2007, 11:14 PM
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Thanks for the information. I have emailed a few wine places in Cape Town and will see how they respond.

John H.
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May 28th, 2007, 01:32 AM
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Duty-Free Purchases
LAGS legislation will not be applied to Duty-Free purchases. However, items purchased in the Duty-Free retail environments of South Africa’s international airports will be given to you in a special sealed bag. Do not open this until you have reached your final destination. You must also retain the proof of purchase throughout your journey as you will need to show it at all transfer points
For more information visit www.acsa.co.za/security/lags .
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May 28th, 2007, 09:17 AM
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Hi,

Using CarlaM's helpful reference, I emailed the Wine Desk in Cape Town on this issue, and here is their reply:

"California is a very difficult state to get wines into, and only on the courier door to door option can we get wine there. This is extremely costly at R 4643.00 [Note: converts to US$654] for 24 bottles. However, on sending wines to the airport, the recipient will require an importers licence. Federal law prohibits the mailing of wines in an around the States.

I would suggest that when you find a wine you are interested in, that you find out who their agents are and in which retail stores their wines are available. This info is readily available at all wineries."

Especially in light of this, Teejay, your info on duty free is very interesting. I mistakenly bought some duty free in Mexico last year and, on transferring in LAX, was told I would not be able to carry it on (I had a receipt but the bag was not sealed completely so that it was inaccessible). I will check with US and German authorities (as I am transferring through Germany) on my outbound trip to see if they indeed allow such sealed bag duty free items.

Thanks again to all.

John H.
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May 29th, 2007, 12:42 AM
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not all alcoholic beverages are forbidden in the checked-in baggage. It depends on the percentage of alcohol and the whole matter is part of the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulation manual.
Other items are not allowed in the checked-in baggage as classified as flammable liquids: perfumes, as example, should be carried in the hand luggage whitin the new limitation rules. Also the shaving foam, if I am not wrong, belongs to the compressed gases family !
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May 29th, 2007, 10:32 AM
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Even with a sealed bag, you can't bring it through US airport security check points. If you have a domestic connection within the US, it must go into your checked luggage after customs and before you recheck your bags.

The tamper-evident bag is not currently accepted through U.S. checkpoints.

If you are flying to the U.S. and have a connecting flight, duty-free liquids that meet U.S. requirements will NOT be permitted through U.S. security checkpoints. If you have a connecting flight, liquid duty-free purchases must be placed in your checked baggage. Since you will be required to reclaim your checked bags prior to passing through customs inspection, you can place duty-free liquids into your bags and recheck them for your connection.

http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtrav...duty_free.shtm

Going through Germany, the EU issues their own sealed bags which are approved for security checkpoints throughout EU countries, but that doesn't mean they'll accept a SA issued sealed bag.
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