Former New England Patriots quarterback Drew Bledsoe is urging Massachusetts lawmakers to end a ban on direct wine shipments to consumers.

    Bledsoe now operates a winery in Washington state. He said Thursday the prohibition on direct wine shipments has prevented him from selling his wine to fans in the Bay State.

    A bill has been field that would allow licensed out-of-state wine producers and distributors to ship to consumers. Massachusetts is among a handful of states that ban direct shipments.

    Bledsoe says he hopes his presence at the Statehouse will help ``make some noise'' on behalf of the legislation.

    A group representing package stores in Massachusetts opposes the bill, saying consumers can easily purchase wine at their local outlets.

    Bledsoe opened the winery in 2007 after retiring from the NFL. (Associated Press)