Do you like wine? Do you like wine from states other than where you live? Have you ever had wine shipped directly to your house? Member of a wine club? Go to a small wine store to find your favorite California Syrah or Oregon Pinot Noir?
Did you know Congress is considering a bill that will STOP all of that?!?!
Please join the wine industry and wine lovers everywhere in writing YOUR congressmen asking them oppose HR 1161. This bill will take away small wineries ability to ship wine out of state. This bill will bankrupt about 83% of the wineries in the US (Only 17% have been able to find adequate distributor relationships nationwide). Don’t live in a wine region? Maybe you don’t think this applies to you, if you drink wine then you’ll be impacted – period!!!
Not only will countless people be without jobs MILLIONS will be without good wine!!!
How Does HR 1161 Threaten Wine Direct Shipping?
HR 1161 aimed to negate the significant reforms achieved through 50 years of case law, including the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2005 Granholm vs. Heald decision, which was instrumental to increasing the number of states that allow legal, regulated winery-to-consumer shipments.
- Puts Discriminatory Shipment Bans Beyond Legal Challenge: HR 1161 would make state laws that are in violation of the Commerce Clause, or any other federal provision, immune from challenge. Make no mistake, influential wholesalers will continue to attempt to pass discriminatory state laws including prohibitions on direct-to-consumer shipments from out-of-state wineries, which was invalidated in the Granholm v. Heald ruling. If this or a similar bill passes, it will be virtually impossible for consumers, winemakers or others to challenge these discriminatory bans.
- Reduces Consumer Choice in Wine, Bankrupts Wineries: Only 17% of wineries are distributed nationally, and 54% of them were unable to find a wholesaler in states where they actively sought representation, according to a survey by Wine Institute, a public policy trade association representing more than 900 California wineries. As a result, many wineries now rely on direct sales to survive. If a winery cannot secure distribution, but is prohibited from selling to its customers directly, it will be locked out of the market and consumer choice is significantly diminished. Bad for you, bad for your local wineries.
- Ensures Wholesaler Monopoly Power: HR 1161 would give wine wholesaler middlemen the power to pass state laws to gain unfettered monopoly power and to pass discriminatory laws that would not only reduce consumer choice in wine, but also hurt businesses, jobs, and state and local economies.
- HR 1161 is a bad law for Oregon wineries and winegrowers and could have a massive negative effect on the state’s $2.7 billion wine industry and place thousands of jobs in jeopardy.
- HR 1161 is bad for consumers because it would allow states to pass laws that restrict consumers’ freedom of choice to purchase Oregon wine.
- Oregon’s smallest wineries that rely on direct to consumer sales to operate profitably would feel the biggest impact, but all wineries would see their revenues decline dramatically.
- States currently have more than adequate means to control the sale of alcoholic beverages in their states.
- HR 1161 is anti-competitive and would give large distributors monopoly powers.
Courtesy of Sam Tannahill, President Oregon Winegrowers Association