Thursday, May 31, 2007

Free The Grape

On my recent trip to Northern California, I was shocked to learn that most wineries would not ship to Massachusetts and that in fact winery to consumer shipments are not allowed in my home state and according to this map we are not alone:
17 states currently do not allow direct shipments via a common carrier which is a shame for an east coast wine lover who otherwise would not have access to more than 5% of the wine produced in our own country. So in June 1998 Free the Grapes! was established by five wine industry associations to augment, not replace, the three-tier system with limited, regulated direct-to-consumer shipments.

The association represents well over 2,000 U.S. wineries, and focuses its collective resources on seeking a workable solution that efficiently serves the needs of adult wine lovers and state regulators in a dynamic marketplace. Currently six groups make up the organization are the Coalition for Free Trade, Family Winemakers of California, Napa Valley Vintners Association, Specialty Wine Retailers Association WineAmerica, and Wine Institute. Not only does their site include information about current laws and their proposed federal legislation but it also includes a newsletter, methods to contact your state officials on this issue and some images you can use to show your support of the cause. Let's Free The Grapes together!"

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