NAPA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Alabama is just one of the five remaining states banning winery-to-consumer direct shipments, but that could change with the passage of proposed legislation. Two bills were introduced in the past few weeks that would, if passed, allow Alabama wine lovers the freedom to purchase the wines they want directly from both in-state and out-of-state wineries.
Senate Bill 274 passed the Senate Tourism Committee unanimously and is anticipated to be voted on by the Senate this week. Its companion bill, House Bill 350, is also under consideration in committee. Wine lovers are urged to contact their legislators in support of bills.
How to Help: Ask Your Legislators to Support Senate Bill 274 and House Bill 350 Today
Alabamian wine lovers eager to access the wines they want are asked to visit www.FreeTheGrapes.org and personalize a letter to their legislators. Personalize a letter here: https://freethegrapes.org/alert/winery-alabama/
Senate Bill 274 and House Bill 350 are both based on model winery direct shipping legislation working successfully in nearly every state. The bills allow both in-state and out-of-state wineries to ship to Alabama consumers. Other standard provisions include the issuance of state licenses to direct shippers, collection and remittance of both sales taxes and excise taxes to the state of Alabama. These laws provide additional state tax revenues, satisfy consumer demand, and meet regulatory requirements in a dynamic marketplace. The four other states that restrict all winery-to-consumer shipping are Delaware, Kentucky, Mississippi and Utah.
About Free the Grapes!
Free the Grapes! is a national coalition of wineries and consumers aimed to augment, not replace, the existing three-tier distribution system of producers, wholesalers, and retailers with legal, regulated direct-to-consumer wine shipping. Founded in 1998 by wine industry associations, Free the Grapes! believes that consumers, not special interests, should decide which wines to purchase and how. Legal direct-to-consumer wine shipping expands consumer choice and helps America’s mostly family-owned-and-operated wineries succeed.
Among recent victories: Pennsylvania ended various restrictions on winery-to-consumer shipping in the state in 2016; Massachusetts and Arizona removed capacity cap restrictions in 2014 and 2015, respectively; and Oklahoma became the 45th state to allow winery direct shipping in 2018.