Iowa Public Television


Interstate Wine Shipments Sluggish

posted on January 13, 2006

Wine is flowing faster and farther since last spring's Supreme Court ruling struck down winery shipping restrictions. But some observers say the industry's change is sluggish.

"We're in a highly regulated industry. This isn't like selling sweaters," said Jeremy Benson, Executive Director of "Free the Grapes" a trade group that lobbied to deregulate domestic wine shipments across state lines.

In its 2005 ruling, the Supreme Court cast aside restrictions in New York and Michigan that permitted wineries to ship directly to in-state consumers but prevented out-of-state businesses from doing the same.

The court went on to say either all wineries should be allowed to ship directly to consumers or none. The ruling was a boon to smaller wineries that don't have the volume for wide distributions to grocery and liquor stores but instead rely on direct to consumer sales.

Since the Supreme Court decision, Michigan, Ohio and New York have relaxed shipping restrictions.

Tags: news trade wine