Wines & Vines Home
   
 
Welcome Guest
LOGIN |  CREATE ACCOUNT
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 
 
 
01.29.2013  
 

DtC at the State Level

Wine Institute official reviews progress in 2012, looks to year ahead

 
by Kate Lavin
 
 
direct to consumer wine symposium
 
Direct-to-consumer wine shipping is permitted in states showed in blue (above) and prohibited in red states. States with both colors are awaiting legislative solution due to court ruling. Source: Wine Institute
South San Francisco, Calif.—The push to open states to direct shipping and simplify laws in areas where DtC shipping exists yielded mixed results in 2012, according to Steve Gross, director of state relations for the Wine Institute in California. Speaking Jan. 24 at the Direct to Consumer Wine Symposium held in South San Francisco, Gross outlined the accomplishments made in the DtC arena during 2012 and gave audience members a glimpse at what is in store for 2013.

“2012 wasn’t a bear year with a lot of states opening and changing” their DtC laws, Gross told the audience Thursday. “We need to go back and tweak some of those state laws.”

Connecticut was one of the biggest successes stories of the year, Gross said, with the state now allowing direct shipping to wineries that use national marketing companies. “It took us 10 years and the retirement of an ABC official,” to rid the state of bad legislation that hampered some wineries’ access direct shipping, Gross added. “If you find things that are prohibiting you from direct shipping, call and tell us, and we will try to fix them.”

This year Maine adopted a policy to collect taxes from direct shippers annually rather than requiring quarterly reports and filings. “We’re trying to sell this to the states as, ‘Why do you want to deal with 12 little tiny checks a year instead of one big one?’” Gross said. “We have had some success with states moving to a longer filing period” such as states changing monthly requirements to quarterly.

New York extended its annual licensing fee to three years. Three-year direct-shipping licenses are $375. In the coming year New York legislators will consider “at-rest” requirements, which state that wine must sit in a wholesale facility within the state for 48 hours before being made available for sale. The regulation’s intent would be to crack down on New Jersey wholesalers bringing wine into New York and selling it.

New Jersey opened to direct shipping in June, but the Department of Revenue introduced problems specific to that state. For one thing, wineries producing more than 250,000 gallons per year aren’t eligible to ship wine directly to consumers, which is frustrating since New Jersey is a big-ticket state for wineries.

According to Gross, “We have never had a bill pass as-drafted, exactly as it was introduced. Every place we’ve ever introduced a bill, somebody has had some input and put in wacky provisions that are usually unique to that state.” For this reason, many states have capacity caps in place, and the Wine Institute is working to have them eliminated. Arizona, for example, permits direct shipping only from wineries producing less than 20,000 cases per year, while other states such as Florida have attempted to adopt capacity caps but been unsuccessful.

In Texas, wineries are no longer required to post a bond unless they have outstanding tax liens.

‘Pennsachusetts’
Pennsachusetts, as Gross called it, was a struggle in 2012. Direct-to-consumer wine shipping legislation failed to pass in Pennsylvania, but the situation looks more promising in 2013. “It’s very good news,” Gross said. “The governor’s office seems to have bought in and we’re negotiating the price. There are already bills with the state’s version of taxation.”

A judge in 2010 ruled Massachusetts’ direct-to-consumer wine shipping law to be unconstitutional, and the wine trade has been waiting for replacement legislation ever since. A bill was introduced to a joint committee that reviews alcohol-related legislation in 2012, but a feud between officials caused the item to founder.
“Our bill sat for eight months after we got it introduced, and were really optimistic about moving it,” Gross recounted. “We got caught up in a political issue that has nothing to do with us.” On the bright side: Wine Institute already has a co-chair for legislation to be introduced in 2013.

Brian Baker, VP of sales and marketing at Chateau Montalena and chair of the Direct to Consumer Wine Symposium, said, “Everybody in the room should be targeting Massachusetts customers when they come in and reminding them how backward their state is when it comes to this.”

Gross encouraged the audience to connect with their customers in Massachusetts and ask them to contact their legislators. “There is nothing like having consumers reach out to legislators instead of the California carpet baggers we are sometimes viewed as,” he said.

No wine as a prize
As of Jan. 1, California wineries holding sweepstakes and contests cannot give away wine as a prize. State senate bill 778 (which imposes regulations on wineries, breweries and distilleries) also states that wineries must keep records from such contests for three years and cannot lawfully require a fee or purchase in exchange for contest entry

Consuming wine cannot be a requisite for sweepstakes participation, and such contests cannot be held in satellite tasting rooms (though principal license locations are OK).

SHARE »
Close
 
Currently no comments posted for this article.
 
CURRENT NEWS INDEX »


 
Wines & Vines Home
 
866.453.9701 | 415.453.9700 | Fax: 415.453.2517
65 Mitchell Blvd., Ste. A San Rafael, CA 94903
info@winesandvines.com
Wine Industry Metrics
 
Off-Premise Sales » Month   12 Months  
March 2015 $622 million
7%
$7,995 million
5%
March 2014 $582 million $7,588 million
     
Direct-to-Consumer Shipments » Month   12 Months  
March 2015 $252 million
19%
$1,863 million
14%
March 2014 $213 million $1,634 million
     
Winery Job Index » Month   12 Months  
March 2015 356
22%
243
16%
March 2014 292 210
     
 
MORE » Released on 04.15.2015
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Direct To Consumer
Wine Shipping Report
2015
 
Download full report »
 
 

Practical Winery & Vineyard Library
 
Search the PWV archive »
 
 

CALENDAR
  • April 17-19
     
    Earth Day Food & Wine Festival
     
  • April 21
     
    Ahead of the Curve
     
  • April 25
     
    Vineyard Mechanization Workshop
     
  • April 25-26
     
    Vineyard to Vintner in Stags Leap
     
  • MORE »
 

READER COMMENTS
 
Article: Is Organic Grape Growing Possible in the East? »
 
FWIW, We make a few wines from a certified Organic vineyard growing cabernet franc, merlot,...
Reader: southoldfc
 
Article: Specialty Tanks Encourage Oak Extraction »
 
According to the manufacturer, the logs are made through compression and not with a binding...
Reader: Andrew Adams
 
Article: Specialty Tanks Encourage Oak Extraction »
 
What is the bonding agent of the Pressed Oak Logs?
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Is Organic Grape Growing Possible in the East? »
 
Some Long Island, NY, vineyard farmers are already using nearly organic methods. They have worked...
Reader: envcat
 
Article: Loosening AVA Regulations »
 
When I see 'Napa Valley'on a wine label, it doesn't only suggest the flavors I...
Reader: Guest
 
 


Directory/Buyer's Guide — Your Wine Industry Marketplace
 
 
WINERY SEARCH
 
 
Advanced Search »
SUPPLIER SEARCH
   by Product
 by Company Name or Brand
 
Browse by Category »
2015 Directory/Buyer's Guide
The Wines & Vines Directory and Buyer's Guide
 
 
EXPANDED ONLINE SEARCH INCLUDED WITH PURCHASE
 
ORDER NOW »
 
LEARN MORE »
 
 
Wines & Vines Magazine
 
 
LEARN MORE »
 
SUBSCRIBE »
 
Digital Edition Now Available!
Wines & Vines Digital Edition Now Available
 
LEARN MORE »
 
ORDER NOW »
 
 
The Wines & Vines Online Marketing System
 
The Industry Standard winery marketing application
 
FREE LIVE DEMO »
 
VIEW VIDEO »
 
 
 
 
Latest Job Listings
 Harvest Intern
 Sebastopol, CA
Cellar, Lab and Production
 Marketplace Manager
 Kenwood, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Facilities Maintenance
 San Luis Obispo, CA
Cellar, Lab and Production
 Pt Tasting Room Associ...
 Gaston, OR
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Consummate Store Manag...
 Chicago, IL
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Accounting Manager
 Napa, CA
Finance
 Wine Buyer Needed
 New York, NY
Sales and Marketing
 Tasting Room/Guest Rel...
 St. Helena, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Sales Representative O...
 West Sonoma County, CA
Sales and Marketing
 Seasonal Sugar Tester ...
 Lodi, CA
Cellar, Lab and Production
 
More Job Listings >>
Follow Us On:
 
 





Home  |  About Us  |  Editors  |  Subscribe  |  Print Edition  |  Digital Edition

Advertise  |  Site Map  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy
 
 
Copyright © 2001-2015 by Wine Communications Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
No material may be reproduced without written permission of the Publisher.
Wines&Vines does not assume any responsibility for any unsolicited manuscripts or materials.