Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Permitting Wine Direct Shipments

Wine Institute's Director of State Relations Steve Gross told a gathering of more than 150 vintners last week that "You can now ship to 80% of the adult population, if you jump through the right hoops". Gross was referring to the change from reciprocal shipping to permit systems, which many states have adopted. While moving to a permit based systems may have opened up more of the country for wine shipments, it has creating a logistical nightmare for wineries. Using a permit system can involve paying numerous permit fees in individual states, tracking the amount of wine sent to individual households, and submitting multiple reports to government agencies. Additionally, many states have imposed capacity caps, which limit the amount of wine that may be shipped to each household or individual.

Although the permit system could help control the shipment of wine from state to state it seems that it maybe completely overwhelming for small wineries since it could end up being much more hassle [paperwork, reporting, fees, ect] then it is worth. It would be nice if the federal government could step in and create a nation wide law that allows shipment of wine for wineries who currently do not have a distributor in a given state up to a limit per shipping address. This simple system would allow direct shipments [with volume caps] to individuals who otherwise would have no access to these brands. It would also give the wineries an easy way to reach their customers, stay with in the laws and have a single place to report to.


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