Free the Grapes!: New Illinois Law to Expand Consumer Choice for Winery-to-Consumer Shipments from 5 to 50 States, But Corks Out-of-State Retailers

From Free the Grapes!:

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich yesterday signed House Bill 429 which goes into effect June 1, 2008. The new law dramatically expands consumer choice for winery-to-consumer purchases made by Illinois wine consumers. Under the new law, wineries in all 50 states may purchase a permit to ship. Under the old law, wineries in just five states, including Illinois, were allowed to direct ship to Illinois consumers. The trading network of states with so-called ‘reciprocal’ wine shipping arrangements has decreased from a dozen to just five: New Mexico, Wisconsin, Iowa, Oregon (changes to permit law in January 2008) and Illinois (changes to permit law in June 2008).

“The new law is a boon for winery-to-consumer shipments, and long overdue, but unfortunately it corks out-of-state retailers. An amendment, widely supported by Illinois consumers and Free the Grapes! would have allowed out-of-state retailers the same privileges as wineries. It was defeated by powerful Illinois retailers and wholesalers,” said Jeremy Benson, executive director, Free the Grapes!, a winery-consumer grassroots coalition.

Read the full press release here.

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