BOSTON (AP) - 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.