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  • When Will The Wine Industry Rebound?

    Direct Shipping Seminar- 2008 Amidst lagging wine sales in 2008 and a sluggish economy, Silicon Valley Bank Wine Division founder Rob McMillan outlines critical issues facing the wine industry and growing economic and market trends in his “2009-2010 State of the Wine Industry” report.

    “Wine businesses across the board are being pushed to new limits in the current environment,” said Rob McMillan, founder of Silicon Valley Bank’s Wine Division and author of the report.

    Rob McMillan will reveal strategic and tactical recommendations to wine businesses as they adapt to current and anticipated market conditions and other insider information based on his expert research and surveys of nearly 500 wineries that may help you plan for your future at ShipCompliant’s 4th annual Direct Shipping Seminar & Users Conference. The conference will take place on June 11, 2009, at the Napa Valley Marriott.

    Other conference speakers include W. Curtis Coleburn, Chief Operating Officer of the Virginia ABC, and Steve Gross, Director of State Relations at the Wine Institute.

    Participating companies include: Wine Business Monthly, FedEx, Wines & Vines, Copper Peak Logistics, Bacchus Fulfillment, WTN Services, Pack n’ Ship Direct, Wineshipping, Benson Marketing, Microworks, Cultivate Systems, Active Club Management, WineWeb Enterprises, eWinery Solutions, Elypsis, WineWare Software, Missing Link/eCellar, VinNOW and EVT Solutions.

    Register online today to confirm your spot.

    Keeping up: Direct Shipping Legislation

    With Kansas now due to open for direct shipping on July 1st, and legislation pending in Florida and Tennessee that may change direct shipping laws, the direct shipping environment is shifting faster than usual.

    You will not want to miss a state-by-state review of legislative updates from Steve Gross, the Wine Institute’s Director of State Relations during ShipCompliant’s 4th annual Direct Shipping Seminar and Users Conference. The event will take place on Thursday, June 11 at the Napa Valley Marriott.

    Hear from Steve Gross and other distinguished speakers as they address important direct shipping updates including a state-by-state review, wine-industry market analysis and strategic direct-to-consumer marketing. Confirmed speakers include:

    • W. Curtis Coleburn, COO, Virginia ABC
    • Steve Gross, Director of State Relations, Wine Institute
    • Q&A session with Jeff Carroll, VP Compliance, ShipCompliant
    • Additional speakers to be announced soon…

    This conference sells out quickly so register online today to guarantee your spot, or sign up to receive email alerts on other upcoming events.

    Two Upcoming Virtual Seminars; One for Wineries, One for Retailers

    Virtual Seminar - WineriesShipCompliant continues its series of ‘Virtual’ Seminars on Shipping Compliance, this year with two separate offerings for wineries and retailers.  Click the links below for more information and to register.

    The winery focused seminar presented along with Wine Institute, FedEx and Wine Business Monthly, will feature Steve Gross, Director of State Relations at Wine Institute, with a state-by-state legislative update.  Special guest Tom Ourada, Tax Revenue Specialist with Wisconsin DOR, will provide insight on Wisconsin’s new direct shipping legislation.  These informative presentations will be complemented by shipping compliance tools and workflows from ShipCompliant and FedEx.

    The retailer focused seminar presented along with Specialty Wine Retailers Association (SWRA) and Wine Business Monthly, will feature Tom Wark, Executive Director of SWRA, with a state-by-state update from the retailer perspective along with best practices and a product demo from ShipCompliant.

    Both events are run in a ‘virtual’ online format where you hear the speakers by calling into a conference phone line and see their presentations by logging into a coordinating web conference.

    Don’t miss this opportunity to get time-critical updates without the cost of attending an event in person.

    Woman of the Hour – Tracy Genesen

    Tracy Genesen of Kirkland & Ellis, LLP is one of the prominent forces currently driving legal change in the wine industry and was the keynote speaker at ShipCompliant’s 2008 Users Conference a few weeks ago.

    Genesen’s speech analogized her role in the industry to a “court of last resort” when legislative means are unsuccessful in remedying protectionist state laws that have remained in effect despite the Granholm ruling in 2005. Granholm resolved many instances of differential treatment by the states and was extended to apply to self-distribution in the Costco ruling. However, Genesen revealed that the post-Granholm time of prosperity has given way to another host of problems. For example, states like Maine and Arkansas, in which direct shipping markets do not exist, have level playing fields; however, treating everyone the same by not allowing anyone to ship is a detriment to the wine industry. In addition, courts are struggling to deal with retail-to-consumer shipping laws in many states. Challenges to these laws have produced interesting results, like the “funky remedy” by a district court judge in a Texas lawsuit which declared that Granholm applied to retailers, but that retailers must first buy wine through Texas-licensed wholesalers. Wholesalers have also maintained their grip on states like Massachusetts by crafting legislation that is beneficial to them but also facially neutral. The 30,000 gallon capacity cap in Massachusetts exemplifies such economic protectionism and is the contention in the Family Winemakers of California case. Oral arguments in the case took place on July 29th in Boston and the decision is expected sometime this fall.

    Many thanks to Tracy Genesen for sharing her insights into the current legal atmosphere of the industry. To view Genesen’s speech in its entirety or that of any of the other speakers at the conference, please see the 2008 Users Conference Simulcast. More information on the cases in Massachusetts and Texas is also available on the ShipCompliant Blog.

    TTB Expo 2008

    The ShipCompliant research team is attending the first annual TTB Expo at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center, just outside of Cincinnati, today and tomorrow. The turnout here is quite impressive. In the opening remarks, the TTB team said their original goal was to get about 300 attendees from across the country. They had over 650 pre-register, and it seems like the actual attendance today is more like 1,000.

    The turnout from the wine industry is equally impressive. We’ve run into a number of friends and partners in the industry from across the country today.

    John J. Manfreda, Administrator of the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), gave an excellent keynote address this morning, stressing an open dialog between the TTB and key industry stakeholders. They seem genuinely committed to listening to the industry to improve the ease of compliance with TTB regulations. If you have any questions or topics that you would like to get answers to while we are here, please feel free to leave a comment on this post or to drop us a private email at blog (at) shipcompliant (dot) com.