Fighting Corruption in Wine Via the Media
The astounding degree to which Virginia wineries have been screwed seems to be a reoccurring story in Virginia’s papers. Perhaps the Virginia wine industry is working hard to get their story into the media.
Perhaps the insanity of the new law that forced them to sell their wines only to distributors rather than directly to retailers and restaurants as they previously is soaking in among a media that likes to look after their own. Either way, it is becoming clear that this new law, passed so that wholesalers don’t have to work very hard and are made safe from competition, appears to be be getting media coverage…and that’s a good thing.
Next year we are likely to see a number of court decisions that affect the ability of local wineries to ship directly to consumers as well as the ability of wineries to sell directly to retailers in their own state.
I hope we will also see places like Virginia reconsider laws that that have been passed that really do nothing but preserve the wholesaler monopoly by preventing wineries from selling direct to both the trade and consumers.
Noticed that recently while visiting Tarara, a vineyard in Northern Virginia. It’s a shame. They were asking folks to sign a petition against the new law. I’m especially sad because some of my favorite everyday table wine is the Governor’s White from the Williamsburg Winery which typically sells even at the local grocery for $6.99 a bottle. And now that I don’t live in the burg anymore, I can’t just pop over there to get it. Lobbyists hard at work and the politicians who support them. And it’s the small wineries here and the consumers who lose.
I hope their citizen’s intiative petition against the new law is helpful. However, it didn’t help Oklahoma much. Despite a very successful citizen’s petition resulting in a change to the state constitution to allow Oklahoma wineries to sell their products to Oklahoma retailers and restaurants…a district judge just declared it ‘unconstitutional’.
They do this as if the intent of the law was to tie states down to massive corporate wine lobbies that corrupt our political processes and decrease competition and diversity in our markets.
The recent trend of turning these local liquor laws against their original intentions is positively Orwellian!