Listing category: "Direct Shipping"

BevAlc Roundup | Retail DtC rules examined, how the alcohol industry can deal with sexual harassment, and beer does make you feel differently than wine.

In today’s roundup, we continue our examination of retailer Direct-to-Consumer rules, how wholesalers impact laws regarding how beverage alcohol gets distributed, whether wine labels should include ingredient lists, and how different beverage alcohol products affect your emotions in different ways. TTB Newsletter | Top stories include six new approved grape varieties for American wines and […]

Direct-to-Consumer Shipping: Where is Retailer DtC Still Permitted?

In August, Missouri repealed rules that previously permitted limited direct to consumer (DtC) sales of wine by licensed retailers. This rule change highlighted the complexities surrounding retailer DtC sales. This is the second installation of a three-part blog series to remove some of the confusion these complexities can cause. Today, we discuss where retailer DtC […]

BevAlc Roundup | Federal tax relief could be included in Senate’s overall tax reform plans, high hopes for the 2017 vintage, and we now know wine is older than we thought.

In today’s round up we go through a review of the rules for interstate wine shipping based on an interview with ShipCompliant’s own Alex Koral, examine an all-time low in global wine production, and look at the problems of categorizing whisky.     TTB Newsletter | Top stories include upcoming updates to permits online and […]

BevAlc Roundup | Shipping rules for retailers and wineries across the country, global wine production at all-time lows, and a record cost dram proves to be a fake.

In today’s round up we go through a review of the rules for interstate wine shipping based on an interview with ShipCompliant’s own Alex Koral, examine an all-time low in global wine production, and look at the problems of categorizing whisky.   TTB Newsletter | Top stories include updates to formula information pages and notice […]

Direct-to-Consumer Shipping: Missouri Decision Outlaws Retailer DtC Sales

As of August 28, 2017, retailers are prohibited from making direct-to-consumer (DtC) sales to residents of Missouri. Previously, Missouri had operated as a reciprocal state for retailer DtC sales, permitting retailers in California, Idaho, and New Mexico to ship to Missouri residents. The Missouri rule changed with the passage of H.B. 115 in late July. […]

Amazon Wine to Shut Down by Year’s End

Amazon Wine will shut down by the end of the year. The online giant informed wine sellers they will no longer be able to sell their wines through the Amazon Marketplace after December 31.   How Does This Affect Me? Wineries and other wine sellers who use Amazon Wine will need to find other means […]

BevAlc Roundup | Special section on California Fires, Craft Beverage Modernization Act, and results from GABF

It’s been a trying couple of weeks many of our clients, partners, and friends out in northern California, and we wish them all safety and a quick recovery. Today, our roundup includes a special section on the fires and where those affected can look for recovery support, but a look at how the Craft Beverage […]

BevAlc Roundup: First National Economic Impact Study of the American Wine Industry, Licensing Dilemma, and Small Brewery Taprooms

In today’s roundup, we take a look at the first national economic impact study of the American wine industry, the licensing dilemma, and the large impact that small brewery taprooms are having on direct-to-consumer sales.

4 Ways Wineries Can Prepare for Holiday Shipping

It’s October, which means the holiday season is approaching accompanied by the regular peak in direct-to-consumer (DtC) wine sales. ShipCompliant — along with our friends at Wine Shipping — hosted a webinar to discuss strategies for handling the increase in holiday orders. Jennifer Goodrich of Wine Shipping provided an overview of what the busy season […]

BevAlc Roundup: Wine shipping webinar, Sonoma’s tasting room limits, research results on craft beer buyers and spiked ice cream!

In today’s roundup we take a look at the California heatwave, avoiding wine packaging disasters, Sonoma’s limits on wine tasting rooms, Philadephia’s reaction to new PLCB rules and spiked ice cream! We invite winery professionals to attend our webinar this Wednesday, September 27, “How to Get Ready for Holiday Direct-to-Consumer Shipping.” Our guest speaker will […]

Upcoming Webinar: How to Get Ready for Holiday Direct-to-Consumer Shipping

The holidays are a busy time of year for everyone, but particularly busy for wineries. Last year, the volume of direct-to-consumer wine sales in October, November and December totaled 36% of the volume of 2016 sales. Join us Wednesday September 27, 2017 at 10:00am PT for an informative webinar to help you get ready for […]

BevAlc Roundup: ShipCompliant Beer Summit, Crackdown on Interstate DtC, Oktoberfest-Proof Shoes and Blue Wine

In today’s roundup we’re pleased to announce that Paul Gatza of the Brewers Association will be our featured speaker at the ShipCompliant Beer Summit on Oct. 3. You’ll also find articles on how states are taking a hard look at interstate direct-to-consumer shipping, more news from Pennsylvania, updates from the TTB and new products that […]

BevAlc Roundup: Distribution trends, The New Craft Brewer Seal and a Slave’s Crucial Role in Whiskey History

New distribution trends, The New Craft Brewer Seal and a Slave’s Role in Whiskey History

Nurturing Your Customers – Including Wine Club Members – is the Key to Direct-to-Consumer Success

As summer slowly fades away, the wine industry can look forward to busier days ahead. Whether it’s the chillier weather, or holiday gift giving, wine sales — and especially Direct to Consumer (DtC) sales — tend to peak. But just because the entire wine market tends to grow at this time of year doesn’t mean […]

BevAlc Roundup | NAFTA Talks: U.S. Wants Changes To How Canada Sells Wine, Common Carriers Are Requiring Proof of DtC Licenses, and Craft Beer Inspired Candles

Today’s roundup covers US wants changes to the way Canada sells wine, common carriers respond to state scrutiny by requiring proof of DtC licenses, and craft beer inspired candles. Enjoy! ! Georgia Will Soon Join the Rest of the U.S. By Allowing Producers to Sell On Premises | On September 1, 2017, SB 85 will go […]

Common Carriers Respond to State Scrutiny By Requiring Proof of DtC Licenses

In many ways, the Direct to Consumer (DtC) market for wineries has never had it better. The number of states that prohibit it is down to just a handful, and the states that do allow it are easing up on some onerous compliance requirements, including package label rules and reporting frequency. But as the DtC […]

BevAlc Roundup | Total Wine Wins Challenge on Discount Pricing, Do Your Compliance Prep in Summer for a Productive Winter and Fall, and Craft Breweries Across the U.S. Unveil Their Beer Recipes in New Guide

July is almost over, but the roundup is in full swing, covering Total Wine’s win on discount pricing in Massachusetts, compliance prep in summer creates a productive winter and fall, and craft breweries across the U.S. unveil their beer recipes in new guide. Cheers!     Total Wine Wins Challenge on Discount Pricing | A Boston […]

Christmas in July: Wineries Can Avoid UPS Holiday Surcharge With Early Direct-to-Consumer Sales

Wineries shipping direct-to-consumer via UPS may be affected by a new holiday shipping surcharge. For Direct to Consumer (DtC) wineries, the hot summer months trend to slower sales. Instead, it is the cooler and more festive winter months when DtC sales really peak. However, a recent announcement by UPS regarding a plan to add delivery […]

BevAlc Roundup | U.S. Distillers Brace For Possible EU Backlash Against Bourbon, Amazon Isn’t Developing Its Own Wine…Yet, and “The Sideways Effect”

Today’s roundup covers U.S. distillers brace for possible EU backlash against bourbon, Amazon isn’t developing its own wine…yet, and ‘The Sideways Effect’: how a wine-obsessed film reshaped the industry. Enjoy!     Approaches to Spirits Direct Shipping | Today nearly every state—plus the District of Columbia—allows wineries to ship wine across state lines directly to in-state […]

Colorado Continues to Update Its Reporting Requirements for DtC Sales

Starting July 1, 2017, every sale made to a Colorado resident must be accompanied by a notice indicating the Colorado resident’s obligation to pay the tax due. New notice and reporting requirements for Colorado sales and use tax were set to come into effect on July 1, 2017, which could have a big impact on […]

BevAlc Roundup | Pennsylvania to Require Quarterly DTC Reporting, Craft Fights Back Against “Big Beer” With Independent Seal, and UB40 Is Now Selling Wine … Red Red Wine

Today’s roundup covers Pennsylvania’ new DTC reporting requirement, craft beer’s independent seal, and the band UB40 is now selling wine … red red wine. Have a great July 4th holiday! Pennsylvania To Require Quarterly Reporting for Winery DtC Starting July 31 | On June 7, 2017 the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) sent out notices to […]

Direct-to-Consumer Wineries Must Provide More Specifics On Wines Shipped Into Maryland

Wineries that sell direct to consumer (DtC) into Maryland will have a new requirement for new and renewed applications starting July 1, 2017. As a result of a bill signed by Governor Larry Hogan on May 4, 2017, wineries must now submit a list of every wine they intend to sell DtC. Maryland has updated its […]

Pennsylvania To Require Quarterly Reporting for Winery DtC Starting July 31

Wineries shipping direct-to-consumer must now file quarterly reports. On June 7, 2017 the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) sent out notices to Direct Wine Shipper licensees informing them of upcoming quarterly reporting requirements. Under their license, Direct Wine Shippers are required to file in the PLCB+ system quarterly reports describing their sales of wine direct to […]

BevAlc Roundup | Massachusetts Sales Tax, Wine Summit Recap, and The Next Big Beer Style

Today’s roundup covers what’s next for Massachusetts sales tax, The ShipCompliant Wine Summit recap, and the next big beer style, according to brewers. Have a great week! TTB Newsletter | Top news includes the appointment of Karen Welch as the new director of our International Affairs Division, an overview of TTB’s organizational structure, and a reminder […]

Wine Summit Re-cap: Direct-to-Consumer State Updates and Industry Trends

Change was in the air last week at the 2017 GCS-Wine Summit (formerly known as DIRECT), and not merely because it was held for the first time in the Sonoma Valley. Among all of the presentations, there was a common thread that the Direct to Consumer (DtC) wine market is maturing and facing new risks — […]

Top Questions (and Answers) From “Getting Real About DTC Shipping: Issues Wineries Need to Consider” Webinar

Alex Heckathorn and Dyana Nedra from Compliance Services of America (CSA) joined me for our recent webinar, “Getting Real About DTC Shipping.”  We discussed some of the issues wineries should consider before they launch in the Direct-to-Consumer market, including changing state regulations and the licensing process. We received some great questions from the audience and have […]

BevAlc Roundup | MA Beer Distributors Push Franchise Reform Bill at State House, 5 Tasting Room Tips to Keep your Winery in Compliance, and ShipCompliant’s 12th Annual Event

Happy Monday! Hope you had a great weekend. Today’s roundup covers Massachusetts beer distributors’ push for a franchise reform bill at the State House, five tasting room tips to keep your winery in compliance, and ShipCompliant’s 12th annual event: GCS ShipCompliant Wine Summit. As always, if you read something I missed, let me know in […]

5 Tasting Room Tips To Keep Your Winery in Compliance

By following these 5 tips, tasting room staff can be aware of their customers’ purchasing and shipping plans, and be more likely to stay in compliance with direct-to-consumer regulations. Summer is almost here. That means new vintages are hitting the shelves, and thousands of wine lovers are making plans to tour well-loved vineyards and find […]

North Dakota Clarifies Direct-To-Consumer (DtC) Wine Sales & Use Tax Requirements

North Dakota tax laws are being interpreted by the Office of State Tax Commissioner to require out-of-state direct shipper licensees to collect and remit local sales and use taxes on wine shipped to consumers in ND, in addition to the 7% state alcohol beverage gross receipts tax. A winery that has been issued a Direct […]

BevAlc Roundup | NC Beer and Wine Wholesalers Association Crushes Breweries’ Effort to Raise Self Distribution Cap, 5 Reasons to Attend the 2017 ShipCompliant Wine Summit, and What Makes a Good Wine Label

The latest beverage alcohol industry news includes NC Beer and Wine Wholesalers Association crushes breweries’ effort to raise self distribution cap, 5 reasons to attend the 2017 ShipCompliant Wine Summit, and what makes a good wine label. Enjoy! What’s Wrong With LSU Beer? Plenty, Lawmaker Contends | A contentious proposal by a Shreveport, LA lawmaker would […]

5 Reasons to Attend the 2017 ShipCompliant Wine Summit

We invite you to join us at this year’s 2017 ShipCompliant Wine Summit in Wine Country. Every year ShipCompliant by Sovos hosts some of the most knowledgeable thought leaders about winery compliance and regulations that impact wineries’ day-to-day business. This Summit, formerly known as the “DIRECT Conference,” is now in its 12th year and we’re back […]

BevAlc Roundup | Alabama Home Wine Delivery, ShipCompliant Wine Summit, and Wild Turkey Declares it’s Non-GMO

The latest beverage alcohol industry news includes Alabama home wine delivery, ShipCompliant Wine Summit, and Wild Turkey declares it’s non-GMO. Enjoy!

BevAlc Roundup | Indiana’s Cold Beer Battle, ShipCompliant License Renewals, and Rose Forties

Happy Monday! The latest beverage alcohol industry news includes Indiana’s cold beer battle, ShipCompliant License Renewals, and rose forties. Cheers!

BevAlc Roundup | Utah Lowers DUI Threshold, Top 10 Craft Beer Producing Countries, and the Science of Fat-Washing Cocktails

Below is the latest beverage alcohol industry news, including Utah lowering its DUI threshold, top 10 craft beer producing countries, and the science of fat-washing cocktails. Enjoy!

Are You Getting a Fair Share of the DtC Pie?

Join us for this DtC webinar to get the real scoop on what’s selling, where it’s selling and how much it’s selling for. You can take note of opportunities for growth, see where your wines fit within their competitive sets, and identify wine types and price points that you should be targeting. Wine sales via […]

BevAlc Roundup | Utah Lowers DUI Threshold, Minnesota Sunday Liquor Sales, and a Beer Hotel With IPA-Filled Hot Tubs

Below is the latest beverage alcohol industry news, including Utah lowering its DUI threshold, Minnesota allowing liquor sales on Sunday, and Brewdog’s plans to build the “Disneyland” of craft beer with IPA-filled hot tubs. I hope you enjoy!

Missouri Moves to Online Filing for Direct Shippers

Missouri is set to join the paperless revolution by implementing an online platform for its tax returns. The Missouri Alcohol and Tobacco Control (ATC) now requires all beverage alcohol suppliers required to submit excise tax and shipping reports to the state to only file online with a MoLogin account. This process has been in place for […]

BevAlc Roundup | TTB’s Bond Termination Under PATH, Q&A From “Shifting Trends in the Beer Industry” Webinar, and a Flood of Pappy Van Winkle

Today, we’ve once again brought you the latest beverage alcohol industry news. This includes the TTB’s bond termination under PATH act provisions, Q&A from “Shifting Trends in the Beer Industry” webinar, and a flood of Pappy Van Winkle. Let me know if I missed anything.

BevAlc Roundup | TTB’s Request for Comments Hard Cider Tax, Gluten Free Beer, and the First Woman in Moonshine

Today, our roundup includes TTB’s request for comments about changes to the hard cider tax rate, gluten free beer, and the first woman in the moonshine business. Enjoy!

A Record-Breaking Year for Direct-to-Consumer Wine Shipments: Top Trends from 2016

For the past six years, Sovos ShipCompliant has teamed with Wines & Vines to shed light on the high growth direct-to-consumer shipping channel for wineries. Continued consumer adoption of online selling, coupled with more states allowing wine shipments, has resulted in double digit year-over-year sales and volume increases – a development that impacts wineries of all […]

BevAlc Roundup | Tequila to get U.S. Certification Mark, 2016 DTC Wine Shipments Reach $2.3 billion, and Shifting Trends in the Beer Industry

  Today, our roundup includes Tequila to get U.S. certification mark,  2016 DTC wine shipments reach $2.3 billion, and shifting trends in the beer industry. I hope you enjoy!

BevAlc Roundup | TTB’s Cancellation of ITDS Pilot Program, DTC Wine Shipments Reach $2.3 Billion in 2016, and Shower Beer

  Today, our roundup includes TTB’s cancellation of ITDS pilot program, DTC wine shipments reach $2.3 billion in 2016, and shower beer. I hope you enjoy!

BevAlc Roundup | TTB’s Changes to Import Paperwork, 2016 Regulations in Review, and Trademark Disputes in 2016

  Happy New Year! Today, our roundup is back from holiday break and includes TTB’s changes to import paperwork, 2016 regulations in review, and trademark disputes in 2016.

New Guidance From West Virginia on Required Shipment Charts

West Virginia Direct Shipment Charts Wine Institute has received new guidance from the West Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control Administration (WVABCA) that will make it easier for members shipping wine into WV to comply with the law. WV statute has always mandated the inclusion of Blood Alcohol and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Charts in each shipment of […]

BevAlc Roundup | TTB’s Plan for COLAs Online, Arizona Releases DtC License, and Craft Beer Year in Review

  Today, our roundup includes updates to TTB’s COLAs Online, Arizona’s new DtC license, and a look at craft beer year in review. If you read something I missed, let me know!

Arizona Releases New Direct-to-Consumer License

On November 29, the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control (DLLC) released the application for the new Series 17W Direct-to-Consumer (DtC) Wine Shipment License. As discussed in a previous blog post this new license is available to wineries of all sizes, granting them permission to make DtC sales to Arizona residents. This new license […]

BevAlc Roundup | TTB’s Notice No. 164, ShipCompliant EOY Webinar, and the Dr. Frankenstein of Beer

  I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving holiday. Today, our roundup includes a TTB notice on proposed rulemaking for the production of wine, ShipCompliant’s EOY Webinar, and the Dr. Frankenstein of beer. If you read something I missed, let me know!

BevAlc Roundup | TTB’s Q&A on FDA Food Facility Requirements, Best Practices for Bringing Products to Market, and the Next Craft Beer Trend

  Today, our roundup includes the TTB’s Q&A on FDA food facility requirements, best practices for bringing products to market, and the next craft beer trend. I hope you enjoy. If you read something I missed, let me know!

BevAlc Roundup | Retail Direct to Consumer Shipping, Climate Change and Wine Production, and Craft Distilleries

  Happy Halloween! Hope you have a fun and safe holiday. Today, our roundup includes a look at some upcoming legislative changes, how climate change is affecting wine production, and archaeological news at Buffalo Trace. I hope you enjoy. If you read something I missed, let me know!

BevAlc Roundup | Overview of the AB InBev-SABMiller merger, BACS 2016, and Harvest reports

I hope you had a great weekend! Today, our roundup includes the mega-merger of AB InBev and SABMiller, harvest reports on grapes and hops, and the Craft Beverage Modernization Act. I hope you enjoy. If you read something I missed, let me know!

BevAlc Roundup | Overview of the TTB’s New Rulings on Formulas, BACS 2016, and Spirits Trends

I hope you had a great weekend! Today, our roundup includes an overview of the TTB’s new formula requirements for wine and spirits, BACS 2016, and spirits trends. I hope you enjoy. If you read something I missed, let me know!

BevAlc Roundup | Overview of the TTB’s New Labeling Regulations, BACS 2016, and the Rise of Canned Wine

I hope you had a great Labor Day weekend! Today, our roundup includes an overview of the TTB’s labeling regulations, BACS 2016, and the rise of canned wine. I hope you enjoy. If you read something I missed, let me know!

Illinois Third-Party Provider Rule Signed Into Law

On Friday August 26, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed SB 2989 into law. As we discussed in detail in a previous blog post, this new bill adds a number of new regulations concerning direct to consumer (DtC) wine sales made into Illinois. To summarize, SB 2989 will require wineries to register with the Illinois Liquor […]

Wine Shipping Sees Growth Across the US

From Oregon’s Pinot Noirs to Napa Valley’s Red Blends, last year was a strong year for the direct-to-consumer industry across the West Coast. But what about the wineries across the rest of the United States? Defined in our 2015 Direct to Consumer Shipping Report as wineries outside of California, Oregon, and Washington, the Rest of […]

Michigan Cracking Down on Direct-to-Consumer Sales

Last year, we published a notice on complaints coming from the Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC) involving compliance failures in the sale of Direct-to-Consumer (DtC) wine to the state. It has recently come to our attention that the MLCC is continuing to issue complaints, and even citations, involving these same issues–we feel that a reminder […]

Napa Valley Sees Growth in Value and Volume

It’s not a surprise that Napa Valley is considered the most famous winery destination in the United States. Around 500 wineries occupy Napa Valley’s 150 square miles. The region’s industry employs 46,000 workers, most of which work at wineries that produce fewer than 10,000 cases annually. Within the direct-to-consumer space, Napa Valley makes up 32% […]

Coming Soon | 2016 DtC Report

This week, Jeff Carroll, ShipCompliant’s VP of Compliance and Strategy, presented data from the highly anticipated 2016 Direct-to-Consumer (DtC) Wine Shipping Report. As a keynote speaker at the DtC Wine Symposium, Jeff reviewed trends and updates from 2015 in the direct-to-consumer wine industry. While this report won’t be released until late January, attendees of the […]

Webinar Recap | End-of-Year Reporting

It’s easy to get distracted this time of year, with parties, festivities, and holiday cheer in abundance, but don’t forget to start preparing for end-of-year reporting. A little preparation now will keep the the holiday joy from turning to despair in early January. Recently we hosted a webinar to share valuable tips and tricks, which will make reporting less of a chore next year. Download this exclusive content from the webinar and start the New Year off right.

A Bordeaux Too Far—Importers Still Face Barriers in the Direct Market

Ten years ago, the United States Supreme Court blew open the doors for direct-to-consumer (DtC) wine shipping. Since then, the DtC market now reaches into 42 states (43 when South Dakota’s DtC rules come into effect in January), and is inching closer and closer to the $2 billion mark. However, these sales have so far […]

Help Your Clients Get into the Wine Business

While writing this, it became pretty evident there was a playlist just begging to be made. We couldn’t resist, so give our Raise Your Glass (Part 1) playlist a listen while you read this post. We hope you enjoy listening to it as much as we enjoyed making it, because we really enjoyed making it. […]

Illinois Qui Tam Webinar: The Big Takeaway

Recently we at ShipCompliant hosted a webinar to review the latest updates in the ongoing saga of the Illinois qui tam cases. We were excited to be joined by Steve Gross of the Wine Institute, along with Adam Beckerink and Michael Wynne of Reed Smith LLP, who are representing the Wine Institute in its suit […]

FedEx Will Now Ship Wine to North Dakota

FedEx recently announced that it has opened North Dakota for shipments of wine. Beginning in September, FedEx Ground and FedEx Express began accepting deliveries of wine into, out of, and within North Dakota. This should greatly benefit wineries in fulfilling direct sales in North Dakota.

Status Update | DtC Wine Industry

We release our Direct-to-Consumer Wine Shipping Report in conjunction with Wines & Vines every year to provide industry members with an overview of growth and trends in the DtC market. We covered our most recent report on our blog, highlighting and dissecting some of the most notable news from 2014. This included a breakdown of […]

What’s New with the Delivery Experience Tools?

As you (hopefully) know, ShipCompliant thrives off of feedback. The suggestions we hear from our clients are some of the driving forces of our company. In that spirit, we are excited to share some updates we’ve been working hard to complete for the Delivery Experience tools. And, as always, please share any feedback in the […]

Guest Post | The Cost-Benefit Analysis of Building Your Winery Email Subscriber List

Ron Scharman, COO of Chatterbox Wine Marketing Services, has been in the direct-to-consumer wine industry for over a decade. His expansive experience has made him well-versed in the ins and outs of the industry, which is likely why he’s a professor at Sonoma State’s Wine Business Institute. We asked Ron to share some tips for wineries looking to expand […]

Illinois Update | Promising News for Qui Tam Cases

A recent decision by an Illinois Cook County Circuit Court judge signals a positive move in the ongoing saga of qui tam False Claim cases in Chicago brought by attorney Stephen B. Diamond, which have been plaguing wineries. As originally reported by David Ruskin, an attorney with Horwood Marcus & Berk, Judge Margaret Ann Brennan […]

Webinar Recording and Slides| Down-low on the DtC Industry

We’re in an industry that never seems to calm down. Keeping up with the trends, regulations, and consumer demands can be a challenge. To help you stay in the know, we teamed up with Women for WineSense to provide an overview of the direct-to-consumer industry.

Michigan Liquor Control Commission is Cracking Down

Recently, we’ve heard confirmation from a few folks about what we predicted in February. The Michigan Liquor Control Commission (LCC) has begun cracking down on direct wine shippers. Sting investigations have been reported by wineries, specifically around rules that require license numbers on packages and the usage of language stating the shipment contains alcohol. We […]

Your Guide to Entering the Direct-to-Consumer Industry

We often get questions from wineries interested in expanding their business into the direct-to-consumer market. This can be a complicated industry, so we created a guide for wineries to help break down the steps for entering the DtC market, to provide an understanding of our role in the process, and to share some starting-point resources. […]

Top 5 Challenges of Wine Delivery

Like most aspects of the beverage alcohol industry, wine delivery is complicated. Though the direct-to-consumer industry is strengthening, both economically and politically, there are many seemingly small pieces that can completely derail your business strategy. Below you’ll find the top five challenges faced by those shipping wine, and some possible solutions to these issues.

Guest Post | Prevent the Mailing List Summertime Blues

With ten years in the industry, April Damron understands the difficulties wine direct marketers must navigate during the sweltering months of summer. From her experience, she has developed some marketing tips and tricks which she has shared with us below. Read through this post to learn ways you can prevent those mailing list summertime blues.

Iowa Transitions from Monthly to Semiannual DTC Reporting Schedule

Legislation HB 638 transitioning Iowa from a monthly reporting state to a semiannual reporting state became effective on July 1, 2015. The semiannual reporting periods are based on the calendar year. Direct-to-consumer licensees are required to pay the amount of excise tax due and make a report of total gallons of wine sold and shipped […]

Privatization Vetoed in Pennsylvania, but Will Direct Shipping Survive?

What’s the Deal? Pennsylvania is one of 19 ‘control states.’ (A ‘control state’ is a general term for any state that publicly controls a retail store, a wholesale store or, in states like PA, both). PA is also one of only eight states that do not allow direct-to-consumer shipping by US wineries. This combination of […]

UPS Begins Shipping to Massachusetts

UPS has announced they are open for wine shipping services in Massachusetts.  Shipments to Massachusetts began on February 1st when FedEx received the proper permits and began shipping. Now both of the major carriers are operational in MA. For a full list of states to which UPS will ship and guidelines for wine shippers, see […]

Direct Shipping in Delaware Gets Shelved until 2016

What’s the Deal? House Bill 134 would open up direct shipping to Delaware. The bill got a hearing in House committee but failed to advance out after the committee vote. The legislature has now adjourned through the end of the year. However, because Delaware runs on more of a two-year legislative cycle, this bill can […]

Update | Improved Delivery Experience Tools

Since the release of our delivery experience tools at this year’s DIRECT conference, we received lots of insightful feedback from our users. We’ve taken that feedback and come up with even more ways to improve the delivery experience for you, and ultimately your customers. 

Guest Post | The Who, What, and Where of Alcohol Sponsorships, Events, and Tastings

Bahaneh Hobel and Rebecca Stamey-White joined us on one of the breakout panels at this year’s DIRECT conference in Napa Valley. Their presentation on “Everything You Need to Know About Winery Tasting, Events, and Sponsorships” was found to be so insightful by attendees that we asked Bahaneh to write up a summary of some of their information shared […]

Repost | Are Shipping Charges Taxable in Illinois?

For an update on the Illinois situation, see this post.  This post was originally posted in December of 2014. We are republishing this because we feel it is still relevant to our clients and readers. Folks in Illinois are quite litigious when it comes to occupation and use (aka sales) taxes on transportation or delivery (aka “shipping”) […]

ShipCompliant Brings Next Generation Delivery Service to Wine Industry

ShipCompliant Integrates Doorman Appointment Delivery Service; NakedWines.Com First Partner to Implement Revolutionary Wine Delivery Service (Boulder, CO)— ShipCompliant has partnered with Doorman, the evening on-demand delivery service, to give its winery clients a foolproof way of assuring direct-to-consumer deliveries are never missed again. With NakedWines.com as the first ShipCompliant partner to offer the service, the winery […]

Where is the Wine Going in the Direct-to-Consumer Market?

The Direct-to-Consumer Report revealed a big year for the wine shipping industry in 2014. We’ve looked at this growth by varietal, winery size, and region of shipment. It’s important, however, to also understand the destination areas of this wine, as the purchases from these states are ultimately responsible for the 13.6% growth in volume of […]

New Product Announcement | ShipCompliant Delivery Experience Tools

We are excited to announce the release of our latest solution — the Delivery Experience. These tools were created to empower wineries to provide their customers with exceptional customer service from tasting room to table. Its release was announced by ShipCompliant President Jason Eckenroth May 28th at DIRECT, our annual conference held in Napa Valley. Sign up […]

The Predictable Patterns of Wine Shipping

The pace of wine shipments over the year follows a predictable pattern in the direct-to-consumer market. Wine shipments broken down by month, though foreseeable, does provide insight into the 2014 direct-to-consumer shipping market. In our 2015 Direct-Shipping-Report, we provide the details to this market, including a look at wine shipments by region and varietal. 

North Dakota Legislation Lessens Carrier Penalties

North Dakota’s SB 2324 has been signed into law by Governor Jack Dalrymple and will go into effect 8/1/2015. This bill results in reduced penalties for carrier violations in regards to direct shipments of wine to consumers within the state. Under this law, fee penalties will take the place of the misdemeanor and felony charges […]

A Regional Look at the Direct-to-Consumer Industry

As revealed in our Direct-to-Consumer Report, 2014 saw some big growth in the direct shipping market. This growth can be traced to the success of certain varietals, the strengthening of medium-sized wineries, and the relative success of certain regions. In particular, Oregon, Washington, and the rest of the US (excluding California) excelled this past year.

Creating an Excellent Experience From Tasting Room to Table

ShipCompliant values excellent customer service. Our team’s purpose is to create an incredible experience for our customers (and our employees and partners and anyone we work with). Years ago we implemented NPS scoring for both customers and employees, and we monitor these scores every single day. We take our purpose seriously.

Growing Power of Medium-Sized Wineries

The winery-to-consumer direct shipping market experienced a year of robust growth in 2014. We’ve discussed some marks of this growth with our coverage of the average wine bottle price and the increasing popularity of Pinot Noir from the information in our Direct Shipping Report.  Another example of the progress 2014 saw comes from the success that medium-sized […]

[Updated] 7 Tips for Better Age Verification for Wine Shipments

As direct-to-consumer wine shipments grow in popularity, we regularly get questions about best practices for consumer age verification. We’ve covered this topic in our blog previously but with the ever-changing laws, it’s time for an update.

Pinot Noir Increases in Popularity

We publish our annual Direct to Consumer Wine Shipping Report to provide an overview of the direct shipping industry. This includes data analysis on trends across the year, winery size, destinations, regions, prices, and varietals. 2014 showed an overall improvement of the industry. Some varietals, in particular, served a large role in this improvement.

2014 Saw Increase in Average Wine Bottle Price

This past year proved to be an impressive year of growth for the winery-to-consumer direct shipping market. While many variables contributed to this progress, the recovery of the average price per bottle of wine shipped is especially notable. To find out about other factors of the 2014 growth, download the full 2015 Direct-To-Consumer Wine Shipping […]

Good News for Direct Wine Sellers to Indiana

Indiana SB 113, one of two bills this legislative session, has passed the Senate and is currently in the House for review. This legislation, should it pass the House and be signed into law, is good news for both Indiana wine consumers and direct wine sellers to Indiana. In-state and out-of-state wineries would have the […]

How to Improve Your Delivery Rate

In a past article, we discussed delivery rate and the problems that occur if your delivery rate is low. There are many ways to improve your delivery rate (the percent of your shipments that are delivered on the first delivery attempt) which will in turn, improve your customer’s experience.

Over 500 Wineries Permitted to Ship into Massachusetts

Earlier this year, we published a post that celebrated the new opportunities that direct shipping into Massachusetts would provide to wineries shipping direct-to-consumer. We also walked through the recommended steps wineries should take to begin shipping into Massachusetts as of February 1, 2015. As March comes to a close we wanted to provide a quick […]

Direct Shipping 101: What is an On-site Shipment?

Not all direct-to-consumer wine shipments are created equal. Across the country, state regulatory agencies treat on-site and off-site orders differently. So what is the difference between an onsite order and off-site order? Any order placed without the consumer being physically present is considered an off-site order. On-site orders meet the following criteria: The order was […]

How Hold Locations Improve Your Customers’ Experience

In a recent post, we discussed the delivery problem. Frequently, consumers who order wine aren’t able to accept their package. Either they aren’t available during the day or they don’t have someone 21 or older available to sign for their package. This challenge frequently results in failed delivery attempts and a lot of back and […]

Registration is Open for DIRECT 2015

It’s that time of year again — registration is open for ShipCompliant’s DIRECT conference. ShipCompliant’s 10th annual conference is a two-day event featuring an impressive lineup of highly-respected keynote speakers. Registrants will hear from a variety of leading experts on the latest direct shipping legislative changes and other evolving topics in the wine industry. The […]

What is Your Wine Delivery Rate?

It’s easy to think that once your wine has left your property or the fulfillment house, you don’t need to worry about it anymore. In discussions with our customers, we’ve found that that isn’t the case. Package delivery is a critical component of direct-to-consumer wine sales. Consumer expectations have increased as a result of the […]

Qui Tam Troubles Continue in Illinois

A new round of Qui Tam lawsuits regarding tax on shipping charges in Illinois has been filed against numerous wineries and wine retailers. For more information on tax on shipping in Illinois, please see our December blog post, which we’ve updated periodically with additional links and information in the “Resources” section, including a posting from […]

New Massachusetts Licensing Platform

Beginning last Monday, March 9, Certificate of Compliance holders can renew their licenses online through the state’s new online system, the “eLicensing and ePermitting Portal.” It’s important to note that this doesn’t change the licensing process, it’s simply more convenient since it can all be performed online. Here are some important things to know about […]

Wine Retailers Can Only Ship to 14 States

  Since the 2005 Granholm v. Heald Supreme Court decision addressing the interstate direct shipment of wine, the number of states allowing out-of-state wineries to ship directly to consumers has increased from 31 states to 42. The experience for licensed wine retailers (for example: brick and mortar wine shops, California Type 85 or 20 licensees […]

How to Improve Your Wine Shipping Integration With UPS and FedEx

Direct Wine Shipping to South Dakota Gets the Green Light

Governor Dennis Daugaard has signed into law legislation House Bill 1001, passed by the South Dakota legislature that finally ends the state’s prohibition against wine direct shipping. When the new law becomes effective on January 1, 2016, the gates will be open for winery to consumer shipments to the Mount Rushmore state. The passage of […]

How is the Direct Shipping Report Created?

As you might know, each year, ShipCompliant and Wines & Vines collaborate to publish an in-depth direct-to-consumer wine shipping report. If you’re not familiar with or haven’t seen this year’s report, you can find it here. People frequently ask us for details on how the report is created. We provide information within the report that answers […]

Easier and Faster Reporting and Remittance – A.R.R.O. Reports

Automated Reporting and Remittance Online is the Future We are thrilled to announce an incredible improvement to our reporting tool that is easier than eFile reports and faster than paper reports. ShipCompliant, in partnership with the state of Virginia, has developed a new way to submit reports and remit taxes – ARRO reports. This new process […]

Webinar | Discover New Opportunities in Your Direct Channel

2014 saw incredible growth in the direct-to-consumer channel, and if our predictions are correct, it doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon. Last week, ShipCompliant presented a webinar on the highlights of 2014’s performance. Details of this performance are featured in the 2015 Direct Wine Shipping Report. In case you’re not familiar with the Shipping […]

Illinois sends over 100 cease and desist letters

The Illinois Liquor Control Commission (ILCC) announced at their board meeting last week that they had sent over 100 cease and desist letters to retailers, wineries, and fulfillment houses. The letters state that the ILCC “has evidence that your business is transferring alcoholic liquor into Illinois from a point outside of Illinois without a license.” […]

Wineries Toast to a New Market – Direct Wine Shipping to Massachusetts

Report Shows Record-Breaking Year for Direct Wine Shipping

–For Immediate Release– ShipCompliant and Wines & Vines Release Annual Report Showing Value of Winery Direct Shipments Jumping 15.5% in 2014 (Boulder, COLORADO)—American wineries increased the dollar value of their direct-to-consumer shipments by an unprecedented 15.5% in 2014, with an equally record-breaking increase in the volume of those shipments. The average price per bottle of […]

FedEx will begin shipping wine to Massachusetts on Febuary 1st

FedEx announced today that, effective Feb. 1, 2015, FedEx Express and FedEx Ground will open the state of Massachusetts for legal shipments of alcoholic beverages. The announcement provided the following: FedEx Ground and FedEx Express will both transport legal alcoholic beverage shipments into, out of and within the state of Massachusetts starting Feb. 1, 2015. […]

Massachusetts DTC Applications – How to Get Started

As ShipCompliant reported earlier this week, the new Direct Wine Shipper License application and advisory were released over this past weekend. The new permit law replaces the existing unworkable direct shipping law in its entirety. See the previous post to read more about how the new laws, in effect starting January 1, 2015, apply to […]

New Direct Wine Shipper License Applications Now Available for Massachusetts

As we discussed in a previous post, Massachusetts opening to direct shipping is probably the biggest change that we have seen in direct wine shipping since the Granholm Supreme Court decision of 2005. Over the weekend, the Massachusetts ABCC updated their website with a brief advisory on the new direct shipping law that summarizes the […]

Wine Labels – It’s a Family Thing

In addition to being a foundational element of society, “Family” also turns out to be an iconic marketing theme. This is perhaps no more so than in the wine industry where the “family winery” or “family estate” seems so omnipresent among wine brands.  In fact, a quick Google search for “family winery” yields 1.7M results […]

Massachusetts, Key Legislative Updates Highlighted at 9th Annual Wine Compliance Virtual Seminar

–For Immediate Release– Virtual seminar addresses wine shipping rule changes and new reporting innovations for wineries. Boulder, Colo. — On Tuesday, November 11, ShipCompliant, the leading compliance provider for wine, spirits and beer producers, will hold its 9th annual Direct Shipping Virtual Seminar for wineries. Attendees will learn about recent legislative and regulatory changes affecting […]

Ship or Distribute to Indiana? Here’s How to Meet Their New Requirements

Starting with the October filing period, Indiana requires all alcohol beverage companies working in Indiana to electronically remit monthly excise tax returns and shipment reports. This method for electronic filing and payment is unique to Indiana and does not exist in any other state report. ShipCompliant will be holding several webinars over the coming weeks […]

New Direct-to-Consumer Shipping Requirements in Maine

Wineries licensed to ship to Maine consumers now have fewer reports to file each year. Maine recently amended its direct-to-consumer law to require that direct shippers file excise tax returns and shipment reports once a year. Unlike the quarterly reporting periods which were based on the calendar year, the annual reporting period corresponds to the license year. The filing […]

2015 Alcohol License Renewal Season Begins in Georgia

The Georgia Department of Revenue recently announced that existing licensees can now renew their alcohol license for 2015 via their Georgia Tax Center (GTC) account. Renewals must be completed online using the GTC before the end of the calendar year.  Wineries renewing a Manufacturer of Wine, Farm Winery or Broker license are required to submit […]

Outside Magazine Names ShipCompliant One of America’s Best Places to Work in 2014

Software Company Ranks #70 on National List for Workplace Excellence ShipCompliant, the industry leader in compliance and tax automation for the beverage alcohol industry, has been selected as one of OUTSIDE’s Best Places to Work 2014. Each year, OUTSIDE recognizes the top 100 companies in the United States that help their employees strike the ideal […]

3 Reasons To Get Excited About The 2014 ShipCompliant Wholesale Gathering

It’s less than one month away from our first ever Wholesale Gathering in White Plains, NY. We are packing up and hitting the road to provide an opportunity to get people in the wholesale industry together on October 16th. Learn how other people in the industry are using ShipCompliant, and compare best practices to get […]

Sending our thoughts to California

All of us at ShipCompliant are very sorry to hear about the earthquake over the weekend that impacted our friends in Napa and Sonoma. While we are grateful to hear that none of our friends in the area are injured, we are saddened by the property damage, loss of inventory, and overall disruption to the […]

Indiana Now Requires Encrypted File Transfer for Alcohol Reports

No one disputes that applying new technology to the process of complying with state liquor regulations is long overdue. However, the new eFile requirements for Indiana excise taxes and shipping reports demonstrates that instituting new digital processes can be challenging. The New Law Beginning with the October filings (due in November), Indiana will require alcohol […]

Alcohol Beverage Companies Will See 20/20 with LabelVision

The most comprehensive and efficient tool to protect your trademark and proprietary wine names just hit the market. Easily avoid brand and product name conflicts, research packaging trends, and brainstorm package design. News of such a robust product is particularly exciting because both the novice and the experienced alcohol beverage professional will find value. It doesn’t […]

Is Massachusetts the Most Important Change Since Granholm?

The opening of Massachusetts for direct shipping is perhaps the most important change to the direct shipping market since the Granholm v. Heald Supreme Court decision in 2005. We estimate that within three years of opening for direct shipments on January 1, 2015, Massachusetts will easily vault into the top ten states by shipping revenue […]

Direct Shipping To Massachusetts–Finally!

Eight years after Massachusetts passed an unworkable and overly-restrictive direct shipping bill, and four years since the same law was ruled unconstitutional by a federal court, Bay State legislators finally passed a workable direct wine shipping law that will allow out-of-state and in-state wineries to ship wine directly to state residents. The new law was […]

Arkansas Confirms Direct Shippers Only Responsible for Statewide Taxes

As wineries were applying for and beginning to use the new DTC shipping licenses for on-site sales to Arkansas consumers, we learned that some of the staff in the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration were telling holders of direct wine shipper licenses that they were responsible for collecting certain local sales and use taxes. […]

New Mexico Changing Online Tax Filing System

Effective Monday, June 16, 2014, New Mexico went live with their TAP online filing system for Combined Reporting System (CRS) returns. Taxpayers who file the CRS return, regardless of if they currently file paper or electronically, will need to take action to create an account with the new system if they wish to file online. […]

Don’t wait! Kansas Product Renewals are Live

It’s that time of year again; the Kansas label renewal period is upon us. Kansas has pushed the renewal period back by a month this year so licensees will be able to renew previously approved labels from June 1st through July 31st.  But, that doesn’t mean that you should procrastinate! Just like last year, Kansas […]

Take Control of your Fulfillment Processes

Making sure orders are up-to-date and within the boundaries of each state’s regulations can be a stressful and time consuming process every month. If you’re frustrated in any way with your current fulfillment processes, I highly recommend you take a look at ShipCompliant’s Fulfillment Management tools. We make it really easy to batch your club […]

Don't Delay – Renew your Arkansas Products by June 30th

Arkansas, the latest state to adopt wholesale label registration practices, has begun their first renewal period. The state recently sent out an email communication to all licensees with previously registered labels. Just in case you missed the email, here’s what you need to know: The renewal period will run from June 1st through June 30th, […]

Accelerating the Demise of Paper

In calendar year 2013, ShipCompliant generated over 200,000 reports (sales and use tax, excise tax, direct shipping reports, wholesale gallonage reports, markup tax reports) for our clients. These reports generated over 700,000 pages of paper that were printed and mailed across the country (with paper checks as well) to the various state agencies. On top […]

Your Secret Weapon: ShipCompliant Analytics

Have you ever wanted to easily find meaning in your ShipCompliant data or wondered what your most popular varietal or product is in a particular state? Or perhaps you’ve wondered which orders are unshipped, or even which licenses are expiring without manually sifting through spreadsheets or order data? ShipCompliant Analytics serves up data from your […]

Product Registrations Online: Out with the Old, In with the New

In the increasingly fast pace of wine, malt and spirit law and compliance, more and more states are recognizing the importance of doing more with less, optimizing processes, and going green. Over the last two years alone, seven states have begun using PRO (Product Registration Online) to accept online label registrations from licensees. For labels […]

Introducing AutoFile – Fully Automated Filing & Payments

To our valued customers: The US beverage alcohol industry has it tough. It is one of the most regulated industries in the United States, as well as one of the most fragmented. Our industry is full of thousands of small businesses and startups; Entrepreneurs following their passion and seeking to achieve their dream of building […]

Arkansas DTC wine shipments can now arrive via FedEx

Effective May 1, 2014, FedEx will begin accepting on-site direct-to-consumer wine shipment orders to Arkansas residents. Both FedEx Express and FedEx Ground services will be available for wineries licensed to ship wine directly to Arkansas consumers. As we outlined in our blog post back in February, in order to be compliant, wineries must: Apply for […]

Beer Here: Will Direct to Consumer Beer and Cider Shipments Happen in New York?

Currently there are only a handful of states that offer DTC beer shipments in the country. New York could be next up to bat with a bill that, among other things, would allow beer shipments to cross state lines into the hands of consumers. New York is the 4th largest consumer of beer products in […]

3 Reasons To Get Excited About This Year’s DIRECT Conference

We look forward to the DIRECT Conference each year, however, this year’s conference promises to be the most exciting yet! Here are some reasons we are excited. 1. Our amazing keynote speaker, Zingerman’s Co-Owner & Founding Partner, Ari Weinzweig What can a deli in Ann Arbor, Michigan teach the world about building a business that […]

Study on Efforts to Prevent Marketing to Minors Gives Alcohol Industry High Marks

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently released their fourth study on efforts to prevent marketing to minors, and the results are positive. The study shows the self-policing efforts by members of the wine, beer, and spirits industries continue to demonstrate responsible advertising. The 2014 FTC Study found a more than 93% compliance rate with industry […]

Arizona Tax Reporting Set for 2015 Simplification

In May of 2012, Governor Jan Brewer established the Transaction Privilege Tax Simplification Task Force in order to identify ways the current complex sales tax code could be simplified in the hopes of reducing tax filer stress and increasing tax-filer compliance. The conclusions of this task force, available in full in the Final Report, led […]

Early Reporting Pays off in the Great Lake State

You asked for it, you got it! Driven by client requests from our Ideas Forum, ShipCompliant recently implemented reporting options to allow clients to take advantage of Michigan’s early and timely filing discounts. Michigan licensees who file the Combined 160 return monthly or quarterly, on or before the 20th of the month, are eligible to take […]

A Forum for Your Thoughts

The beauty of ShipCompliant and other software as a service products is that they are cloud based, which allows them to be ever-changing and always improving. We have a responsibility to fix things that are broken and maintain upkeep, but more important and far more interesting in our eyes, is the usability and deliverability of […]

What Is A “Wine Growler”? TTB Weighs In

You may not have heard much about the subject of “Growlers” in association with wine in the past. While beer lovers are far more commonly attracted to these types of containers and their purchase, it’s just not yet that common with wine. However, with a recent ruling by TTB, “Wine Growlers” will likely be a […]

South Dakota Direct Shipping Bill Needs One More Push

South Dakota is one of the few remaining states that prohibits the direct-to-consumer shipment of wine, but that could change if supporters of wine shipping quickly encourage the South Dakota House of Representatives to support SB 114. And speed is of the essence since SB 114 must pass out of the House by March 11 […]

Everything is bigger in Texas, including 4 month quarters and 13 month years

Texas sent out notices to all permitted out-of-state wine direct shippers that as of January 1, 2014, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) is updating the filing periods for the C-240, Shippers Excise Tax Return. The notice states that permittees shipping less than 4,000 gallons annually to consumers in Texas may begin filing this return […]

How to make compliant shipments to Arkansas

Following up on Sarah’s post about the new permit applications being available in Arkansas, we wanted to give you a quick update on how we’re handling some of the unique requirements in the Arkansas law. The bottom line is that you can now make compliant shipments to Arkansas if you’ve completed the permit process. Continue […]

Arkansas opens for wine shipments, but only for onsite sales going to private residences

Wineries may now apply for an Arkansas “Wine Shipping Permit”, making the state available to onsite direct wine shipments only for the first time. The application for the $25 license may only be obtained by calling the Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Control Division (the ABC’s number is 501-682-1105) and requesting an application be sent to the […]

Happy New Year from ShipCompliant

ShipCompliant is excited to announce the release of our 2014 cookbook. Click below to request your copy!

Connecticut Wants You to File Sales Tax Online in 2014

Wine direct shippers doing business in Connecticut will be required to report and pay sales tax due for all filing frequencies beginning on or after January 1, 2014. This mandate affects direct wine shippers because sales tax remittance is a requirement of their direct shipping license in Connecticut. Currently most shippers file both their sales […]

Will Massachusetts Lawmakers Finally Act?

In January of 2010, the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit affirmed the judgment of the District Court in the case of Family Winemakers of California v. Jenkins. This ruling struck down the 30,000 gallon capacity cap, which excluded 98% of domestic wines from shipment to Massachusetts. Although this represented a big […]

Idaho Offers Less Frequent Reporting for Wine Direct Shippers

Monthly filings in 40+ states can be quite a burden, especially for suppliers who don’t have significant sales every month in every state. Idaho has recognized over the years that wine direct shippers generally do not have significant sales every month and is reaching out to licensed wine direct shippers letting them know they may […]

FedEx will (not) continue delivering wine shipments to North Dakota

Update 10/22/2013: FedEx will halt shipments to North Dakota effective immediately. Official statement from FedEx below. This communication is to confirm that FedEx Express, FedEx Ground and FedEx Home Delivery will cease transporting alcoholic beverages destined to an address in North Dakota effective immediately. FedEx has been unable to arrive at a solution that would […]

FedEx to Halt Shipments to North Dakota

FedEx will stop shipping wine to North Dakota, effective November 1st. Please see below for a statement from FedEx sent to Wine Institute members. Due to recent changes in North Dakota law, FedEx Express, FedEx Ground and FedEx Home Delivery will cease transporting shipments containing alcoholic beverages to and within the state of North Dakota, […]

TTB Halts Regulatory Functions

As a result of the government shutdown, TTB has halted regulatory functions. Licensees will not be able to access COLAs Online, Permits Online, or Formulas Online. This also means that ShipCompliant’s integration with COLAs Online will not be available during the shutdown. As soon as appropriations are made available, TTB will work on restoring these […]

The COLA Conundrum

On the issue of Certificates of Label Approval (COLAs), the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) is finding itself caught between a rock and a hard place. The rock is their funding, including dwindling budgets each year, and concerns over furloughs, government shutdowns, and long term sequestration given an inept and unpredictable Congress. […]

2013 Wine Compliance Legislative Updates and a Virtual Seminar Invitation

You may remember reading our posts highlighting what to look for in the legislative season back at the beginning of 2013. Now that many legislative sessions are starting to come to a close, here is a quick check-in on this year’s legislative changes, all of which will be addressed in detail at the ShipCompliant Direct […]

Q3 2013: Big Sales Tax Reporting Updates this October for Direct Wine Shippers

October 1 marks the end of the third calendar reporting quarter for 2013. Chances are, those responsible for remitting tax and shipment reports for the wine direct shipping part of the business are already prepping for the third major reporting month of the year. There are several notable sales tax rate and reporting changes affecting […]

While the Autumn Leaves Change in Montana, So Do Their Wine Direct Shipping Regulations

Montana’s new direct shipping law goes into effect October 1 and will replace the current “Wine Connoisseur’s License” process with a “Direct Shipping Endorsement” permit system. Applications for authorization to ship directly to consumers in Montana are now available. Overall, the new law and licensing process are fairly simple; the Endorsement fee will cost $50 […]

Maine State Sales Tax Rates Increase Effective October 1, 2013

Effective October 1, 2013 Maine will increase the general sales tax rate from 5% to 5.5%. This state rate increase adds to the list of statewide tax changes seen this year, including but not limited to: California, Virginia, Ohio, Arkansas, and Tennessee (food only). Accompanying the rate change, filing for the tax period containing the […]

Update | Eight Companies Approved as Logistics Shippers in North Dakota

This post was updated with the addition of Safe Haven on June 2, 2016. It’s been just over a month since North Dakota implemented SB 2147, and the state has been busy processing applications for the new “Alcohol Carrier” and “Logistics Shipper” licenses required under new law. Shortly after SB 2147 became effective, both UPS […]

Is this the year for wine shipments in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania, along with Massachusetts, remains one of the two remaining key states that wineries and consumers both hope to see open for direct wine shipping. The possibility that this could be the year for direct shipping coming to the Keystone State remains quite real, depending on what happens when lawmakers return to the capital in […]

UPS and FedEx Approved as Direct-to-Consumer Alcohol Carriers in North Dakota

Following North Dakota’s implementation of SB 2147 last week, which is explained in detail here, North Dakota announced that alcohol carriers FedEx and UPS have submitted applications and are now approved for shipping direct-to-consumer orders into North Dakota through the end of the year. SB 2147 updated the existing direct shipping law with the requirement […]

Logistics Shippers and Carrier License Applications Required in North Dakota

An update to North Dakota’s existing direct shipping law is going into effect today, August 1. Passed earlier this year, the new law maintains much of the existing law surrounding direct shipping, but also adds two new licenses, “Logistics Shipper License” and “Alcohol Carrier License”, in addition to new shipment reports. Since April of 2010, […]

Limited to On-site Sales, Arkansas Passes Bill to Allow Direct Shipping

On March 21, 2013, House Bill 1749 became Act 483, signifying its passage into law. Once enacted mid-August, the state of Arkansas will be added to the list of states that allow wineries to ship wine directly to consumers — but with many limitations. Aside from the low cost of the license, the requirements under […]

The Pac Northwest is Heating Up! Learn How to Harness the Growth

Next week, our team will be in Napa to celebrate our 8th annual DIRECT Conference. If you’ll be in the area on June 13th, we’d love for you to attend! But did you know that we’ll also be holding events in Oregon and Washington this month? It’s easy to see why hundreds of brands in […]

Your DIRECT source of Wine Shipping Information

The ShipCompliant Blog brings you a steady flow of legislative updates, regulatory changes and other important news impacting wine shippers. If you find this information valuable, you won’t want to miss DIRECT 2013, ShipCompliant’s 8th annual Direct Sales and Shipping Seminar taking place June 13, 2013, in Napa, California. This full-day seminar will feature multiple […]

Sonoma County Updates, and a Cordial Invitation

Today, we would like to remind you of two things: one is a law that will affect our friends in Sonoma County this year, and the other is a cordial invitation to an industry event in the area on May 30th! Sonoma County has seen great growth over the past few years, especially in 2012. According […]

Is the Marketplace Fairness Act Fair for Wineries?

In short, yes, for a couple of reasons: 1. Wineries already pay sales tax in most states 2. The vast majority of wineries will likely be exempt from the law So what is it, exactly? Senate Bill S. 743, more commonly known as the “Marketplace Fairness Act“, is a pretty simple bill that would give […]

Nebraska Tightens up Existing Direct Shipping Law

LB 230 passed Nebraska’s unicameral legislature and was signed by the Governor on April 24, 2013. The new law will go into effect on September 6, 2013. Nebraska is currently open to direct shipping from wineries and retailers (although there was some debate recently as to whether retailers should qualify under the current law), with […]

Variety: The Spice of Life for Direct Shipping?

Among the most revealing facts in the new 2013 Direct Wine Shipping Report we recently released with Wines & Vines is that, given all the various types of wines produced and sold by wineries, a very select few types of wine dominate those shipped direct to the consumer. Together, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Red Blends, […]

October 1st Brings New Direct Wine Shipping Regulations to Montana

Montana House Bill 402 was signed by Governor Bullock on April 12, 2013 and creates workable direct wine shipping laws in the state. The new law, effective on October 1, 2013, will replace the flawed consumer licensing system presently in place for wine shipping in Montana. Current regulations require that out-of-state wineries ship only to […]

Does Size Matter? Absolutely, if You’re a Winery

On April 16th, ShipCompliant, together with Wines & Vines, released our 2013 Direct-to-Consumer Shipping Report, which contains a treasure trove of useful information that could change the strategy of your business. Upon its release, we shared with you that the direct shipping business is growing. If we dig a layer deeper, however, we can see […]

The 2013 Direct Shipping Report: How Will It Change Your Strategy?

Every year, ShipCompliant teams with Wines & Vines to report on the state of the direct-to-consumer wine market. The 2013 Direct Shipping Report is now available! If you are feeling antsy, feel free to click here to download the report! If you’ve got a few minutes, we’ve provided some summary highlights below. The model, built […]

North Dakota Makes Direct Shipping Easier for Wineries and Retailers

North Dakota legislature has passed, and its Governor has signed into law on April 1, new legislation that will allow wine orders to be shipped from any fulfillment house that obtains a North Dakota “logistics shipper” license, require licensure of common carriers, and make other related changes to the state’s direct shipping law. These new […]

To Stay Afloat, Here is a Life Buoy of Wine Compliance Legislative Updates

As the snow melts here in Boulder, it’s time for a status update on the direct shipping bills we expected to see in 2013, as well as other notable legislation. 1. How are Direct Shipping Bills Stacking Up? Massachusetts has seen six direct shipping bills introduced this session, and though there hasn’t been much movement […]

Maryland Direct Shippers Should Still File Sales Tax Quarterly

Maryland may still be working out some kinks in the sales tax collection component of their direct wine shippers program. Some wineries may have incorrectly received a notice that their sales tax payments should be made monthly rather than making the quarterly payments required under the DTC shipping law. It seems that some vendors are […]

What to Look for in Wine Compliance in the Coming Year

As we like to do at the beginning of each year, we once again look into our crystal ball and offer you some informed prognostications as to what the world of wine direct shipping might have in store for the coming year. While we don’t see any negative trends impacting the compliance world in the […]

Texas Eases Requirement for Direct-To-Consumer Licensing

The direct shipper permit application process has just become a little easier. The Texas Alcohol Beverage Control Commission (TABC) has determined that it is no longer necessary or appropriate to require every Out-Of-State Direct Wine Shipper permit applicant to submit a bond with its application. As of November 15, 2012, the only direct shipper applicants […]

Virginia DTC Fulfillment House Regulations; ABC Endorses Winery/Fulfillment House Contract Addendum Format

In July, 2009, Virginia ABC notified Virginia Wine Shipper licensees they were prohibited from contracting with third parties for selling and shipping wine into Virginia. Since then industry has been working with Virginia ABC to outline allowable uses of third parties. The culmination of these efforts was a new Virginia regulation which took effect in […]

Maryland Direct Wine Shipment Report will be Important in Other States

Since 2005 when the Granholm v. Heald Supreme Court decision opened the floodgates for direct wine shipping legislation, questions about whether direct shipping would harm local businesses, would hurt tax revenue and would lead to a significant increase in minors accessing alcohol have been posed. It has been rare that these and other questions are […]

Preparation is Key for the Fast Approaching Reporting Storm

Wine shippers work hard all year and push to finish the year with a strong holiday sales season, but January doesn’t leave much time to slow down and reflect. Come January, wine shippers face an onslaught of reporting requirements that moves compliance professionals nationwide into high gear. More direct shipping reports are due in January […]

Idaho and New York Simplify Direct Shipping Permitting Processes

Idaho and New York wine direct shipper licensees can anticipate a simpler licensing process as the new year approaches. These improvements are expected to alleviate some of the burden that accompanies the amount of paperwork attributed to the licensing process. Details on these updates are outlined below. IDAHO Previously an applicant had to submit two […]

Virginia and Third Parties – What You Need To Know Before November 4

In July of 2009, the Virginia Department of Alcohol Beverage Control (Virginia ABC) sent out Circular Letter 09-05 to Direct-to-Consumer Wine Shipper and Beer Shipper licensees, prohibiting Direct Shippers from contracting with third parties for receiving or shipping orders on behalf of the licensee. Since then, Virginia has been working with industry members to outline […]

What Wineries Can Learn from the NFL

Anyone watching the NFL has probably noticed something a little different this year…the referees stink! Thanks to a labor dispute with the refs, the NFL has been using “less qualified professionals” to regulate the games. And after Monday night’s fiasco in Seattle (sorry Packers fans), it’s clear the NFL’s fan base finally put enough pressure […]

A 5-Point Checklist For Selling Through Online Wine Marketers

Editor’s Note: The following post is part of our series on the Third Party Providers The rapid emergence of online wine marketers might be the biggest innovation in wine sales over the past five years. But selling and marketing your wine through these third-party channels poses many compliance and business-related challenges. That’s why we’ve put […]

Save the Peach Trees! Alcohol Tax Filing Goes Online in Georgia

Alcohol Tax Filers who pay Georgia Excise Tax or related Georgia license fees will be required to file and renew online beginning September 2012 through the Georgia Tax Center (GTC). The Georgia Department of Revenue (GDOR) has sent out a notice stating that businesses can begin managing their alcohol tax account with the GTC and […]

Washington State Simplifies Tax Filing For Wineries

Washington now allows an optional annual filing of wine tax for wineries whose total sales into Washington are less than 6,000 gallons annually (roughly 2,500 cases). Wineries that exceed the 6,000 gallon limit, however, must continue to file monthly returns. This new allowance comes after the passage of SB 5259, a bill that passed in […]

DIRECT Conference Gives Wineries Tools to Succeed in Changing Direct Shipping Environment

ShipCompliant launched its first Direct Shipping Seminar & Users Conference in 2006, one year after the groundbreaking Granholm v. Heald Supreme Court ruling that put the framework in place for the direct shipping landscape as we know it today. Since the 2005 ruling, 26 new states have opened or adopted a new permit system for […]

Formalization of Wine's 'Fifth Column': Third-party Marketers

Editor’s Note: The following post is part of our series on the Third Party Providers “A compliant and effective e-commerce sales platform [is] now in place and available. There is a Fifth Column of wine sales now…The evolution and momentum of the Fifth Column of wine sales leads us to believe the genie is finally […]

The First of May Brings the First of Direct Wine Shipping to the Garden State

Spring brings more than flowers this year for supporters of direct shipping. After three and a half months of anticipation and preparation, the New Jersey Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control posted checklists, forms and applications on their site, making S 3172 a reality for the wine industry. Effective May 1, New Jersey is accepting applications […]

Licensees should have the opportunity to accept or reject each third party wine order

Editor’s Note: The following post is part of our series on the Third Party Providers In the quickly evolving world of third party wine marketing, it’s important that marketers and licensed sellers work together in such a way that puts the licensed seller in full control of all aspects of each transaction. One of the […]

Third Party Providers are Here…To Stay

Last month I had the privilege of addressing a group of control state regulators, industry attorneys and key industry executives that gathered just outside Washington, DC for the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association’s (NABCA) Annual Legal Symposium. The topic of my panel was one that we have put significant focus on here at ShipCompliant and […]

Out-of-State Shippers in Texas Get a Break on Excise Taxes – Until Now

Texas recently sent an updated Direct Shipper’s Report (form C-240) along with a letter to Out-of-State Winery Direct Shippers, alerting the licensees of a change in the tax rate to be paid on wine sent to Texas residents from out-of-state. Until now, Texas has only required out-of-state direct shippers to pay $0.204 per gallon on […]

New Jersey Poised to Open Up For Direct Shipping

Late Monday night, in the final action of a marathon legislative session that closed out the year, the New Jersey Assembly passed S3172, a bill that, among other things, opens up the state for direct-to-consumer shipments. If signed by Governor Chris Christie as expected, it will allow wineries producing up to 250,000 gallons of wine […]

Wine Sales and Distribution 2012 – A Look Forward

In looking forward to what 2012 might bring the world of wine compliance and regulation, it is instructive to first look back at 2011. One thing we’ve learned after eight years in the world of wine compliance is that once movements gain momentum, it’s hard to slow them down. The past year demonstrated the continuation […]

Understanding the California ABC’s New Advisory for Wineries and Third Party Providers

The proliferation of “Third Party Providers” (TPP) within the wine industry has been significant over the past two years. Known otherwise as “Third Party Marketers”, “Third Party Advertising Agents” and “Marketing Agents”, they represent a new sales channel for suppliers whether in the form of “flash sales” or multiple product offer websites. However, anybody that […]

Maryland Released Direct Shipping Report Form and Extends Deadline for Quarter 3, 2011

The Maryland Comptroller’s office released its Direct Shipper Excise Tax Return form Tuesday. This is the form that licensed direct shippers submit quarterly to pay their state excise taxes and report their shipments to consumers in the state. IMPORTANTLY, the Comptroller’s office has pushed back the deadline for direct shippers to submit their 3rd Quarter […]

Louisiana Increases Volume Limit for DTC Shipping

Louisiana recently made an adjustment to its direct-to-consumer wine shipping law that benefits the industry and consumers. The volume limit for direct-to-consumer shipping has increased from 4 cases per consumer each year to 12 cases (144 750ml bottles) per consumer each year. Wineries must have a direct shipping permit in order to ship to consumers […]

New Mexico Direct Shipping Applications Available Now and a Must for Wineries

The New Mexico Direct Wine Shipper Permit Application is now available on the state’s Alcohol and Gaming Division website. The state will remain reciprocal until July 1, at which time the new legislation takes effect and wineries must have a permit in order to continuing to ship wine to their New Mexico patrons. To register […]

Maryland Direct Shipping Permit Applications Available

Direct shipping applications for Maryland are now available on the Maryland Comptroller’s website. Wineries that obtain a Direct Wine Shipper’s Permit may begin shipping into Maryland as early as July 1. Once licensed, a winery may ship up to 18 cases of wine per household per year. The cost of the Direct Wine Shipper’s Permit […]

Tennessee Bill Opens Entire State to Direct Wine Shipments

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signed SB 1030 today, May 20, 2011, to open the entire state of Tennessee to direct wine shipments. Though officially Tennessee allowed wineries to apply for a license to ship wine into the state beginning July 1, 2009, licensed shippers have only been able to ship wine to some parts of […]

The Old ‘Wine’ State: Maryland to Open to Direct Wine Shipments

After years of repeated attempts to open the state to wine shipping, Maryland wine lovers will soon be able to have wine shipped directly to their doors. Signed by the Governor today, the new law makes Maryland the second state this year — after New Mexico — to pass new direct wine shipping permit legislation. […]

The CARE Act is a solution looking for a problem

Editor’s Note: The following is a guest post, written by Tom Wark of SWRA, in our series on the CARE Act of 2011. So, what problem could possibly necessitate the radical solution of stripping every wine store in America of its Constitutional protection against discriminatory state-based laws? Make no doubt about it. H.R. 1161 does […]

Updated North Dakota DTC Reporting Requirements

Effective July 1, 2011, North Dakota law will require that direct-to-consumer (DTC) shippers now be subject to the same $100 per day fee for the late filing of reports that is currently required of in-state wineries and other licensees. Additionally, the penalties for failure to pay or late payment of excise taxes by DTC shippers […]

The End of Winery Reciprocity. New Mexico Passes Direct Shipping Legislation

New Mexico’s Governor signed SB 445, which creates a wine shipping permit for out-of-state wineries, an important move both symbolically and for wineries seeking to serve customers in that state. Now, wineries from all US states can apply for a permit to ship wine to consumers. New Mexico will be the last state to change […]

Direct Shipping Legislation Heats Up Across the Country

This time of year always brings a flurry of legislative activity, and 2011 is no exception. The Granholm v. Heald Supreme Court ruling from 2005 is still having its impact on many states. 27 states are currently considering some form of direct shipping legislation, and at least 44 more have considered some sort of tax […]

Son of 5034: C.A.R.E. Act Re-Introduced as HR 1161

If you have been following the debate over the CARE (Community Alcohol Regulatory Effectiveness) Act for the last nine months, it should be no surprise that the bill was re-introduced in the US House of Representatives last week. Proponents of the bill, including the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) and the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers […]

The Meaning of Silence

Last Monday the U.S. Supreme Court declined review of the 2010 Court of Appeals decision in Wine Country Gift Baskets.com v. Steen, a Texas case refusing to apply Granholm’s antidiscrimination principle to wine sales by out-of-state non-producing retailers. (Previous blog posts have referred to the case as the Texas Siesta Village suit, using its original […]

Marylanders for Better Wine Shipping Laws

Following a very favorable report from Comptroller of Maryland Peter Franchot, and years of efforts by the constituent group Marylanders for Better Beer & Wine Laws, bills to allow direct shipments from wineries inside and outside of Maryland were introduced in both chambers of the General Assembly on Friday. According to Free the Grapes!, 83 […]

Glimmer of Hope in Challenging On-Site Requirements

On December 17th, the US Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit (Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania) rendered its decision in Freeman v. Corzine (formerly known as Freeman v. Fischer and Freeman v. Governor of New Jersey). The case applies Granholm to several aspects of New Jersey law, which banned direct shipment by all wineries, […]

At A Glance: Get into a New York State of Mind — Direct Shipping to the Empire State

Put an End to Year-End Reporting Hassles

This year, if you ship to all available states, you will need to submit a total of 556 state reports—70 of these in January alone. On top of monthly shipping and tax reports, quarterly and annual reports come due in January to significantly increase your reporting workload in the first month of the year. The […]

Qualified Idaho Wine Tax Return Filers May Opt for Less Frequent Filing

On November 5, 2010, Idaho State Tax Commission officials sent out a letter to qualified wine tax return filers, offering the opportunity to change their filing frequency from the mandatory monthly submission to quarterly, semi-annually or annually. “Qualified Filers” include direct shippers who report less than $600 of wine tax per quarter (approximately 186 9-liter […]

At A Glance: Arizona Direct Wine Shipments – Why Size Does Matter in the Grand Canyon State

Side Note: For suppliers interested in selling to retailers (self-distribution), Arizona law permits holders of a Domestic Farm Winery License that produce less than 20,000 gallons per year, unlimited shipments to Arizona retailers.

All Eyes on Washington (State) as Voters Consider Privatization

On November 2, 2010 citizens of The Evergreen State will see two separate measures on the ballot concerning the distribution of liquor. Both initiatives represent a big change to the current liquor distribution system. The Washington State Liquor Control Board currently regulates the sale of all liquor (wine, beer and spirits) and maintains total control […]

A Step in the Right Direction: Florida Offers Online Label Registration and Quick Approval Times

Online instant processing of Florida label registrations is now available for any supplier of alcoholic beverages. Products sold to distributors must be registered before shipping into the state, however, direct wine shipments remain exempt from registration requirements. Florida’s new system has been up and running since July 15, 2010. Suppliers who are licensed to sell […]

Ohio: State Summary

Editors note: This is the first in a series of posts we will have focused on highlighting states’ direct shipping rules and regulations.

H.R. 5034 Update: Revision Reignites Debate, Important Hearing Set for Wednesday

When H.R. 5034 (also known as the Comprehensive Alcohol Regulatory Effectiveness, or “CARE” Act) was introduced on April 15, 2010, the opposition responded quickly and forcefully. Supplier organizations were united in their opposition to the bill, referring to it as the “wholesalers monopoly protection bill”. Even the California State Legislature issued a resolution, SJR 34, […]

Kansas Issues Revenue Ruling and Amends License Term

Governor Parkinson of Kansas signed SB 452 into law, changing the license term for a Special Order Shipping License from one year to two years. The legislation became effective on July 1, 2010. The fee for a new Special Order Shipping License was adjusted to $150 to reflect the new two-year license term.  Current holders […]

Massachusetts Remains Elusive for Direct Shippers

On 1/14/10 the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston ruled in favor the plaintiff in the Massachusetts FWC v. Jenkins litigation. The ruling affirmed the lower court’s order that struck down the capacity caps and wholesaler exclusions which are included in the Massachusetts direct-to-consumer shipping statute and prevented over half of the wineries in […]

Controlled Shipping: HB 1352 Will Make Some Changes to New Hampshire’s Direct Shipping Laws

HB 1352, a bill that includes changes to volume limits, permit fees, reporting requirements, and common carrier requirements, was signed by Governor John Lynch on July 15, 2010. Direct shipping is already available for wineries and retailers in New Hampshire, but the changes that will take effect on January 1, 2011 will have an impact […]

The Lone Reciprocal State

New Mexico Stands Alone In 2004, 13 states had wine shipping reciprocity provisions. Essentially, reciprocal states allowed any winery to ship into their state as long as that winery’s state allowed an equal reciprocal privilege. The Granholm decision of 2005 effectively declared reciprocity unconstitutional (pop quiz: would reciprocity provisions be beyond challenge if HR 5034 […]

Hawaii Amends Due Date for Gallonage Tax

Effective July 1, 2010, the filing and payment due date the Hawaii Gallonage Tax, will change from the last day of the month to the 20th day of the month. Wineries shipping to consumers in Hawaii are required to file a “Combined Monthly Return of Liquor Tax and Report of Wine Gallons and Dollar Volume […]

Set Your Sights on the Hawkeye State: Get Started by Applying for a Direct Shipping License in Iowa

The direct shipping applications for Iowa are now available. As of July 1, 2010 Iowa will require wineries to obtain a direct shipping license to ship wine directly to consumers. Previously a reciprocal state, Iowa’s borders will soon be open to all wineries across the country who obtain a permit, regardless of reciprocity status with […]

Direct Shipping Conference Focuses on Building Customer Loyalty, Understanding Marketing and Fulfillment Agents, the Impact of HR 5034 and More…

Hundreds of wineries will get an inside look at leading strategies for building customer loyalty, hear about the latest and upcoming changes in the direct shipping environment, learn best practices to get the most out of their direct shipping program, and be the first to see the unveiling of groundbreaking new features at ShipCompliant’s 5th […]

Comprehensive Alcohol Regulatory Effectiveness (CARE) Act of 2010 Introduced

As expected, the Congressional subcommittee hearing on Legal Issues Concerning State Alcohol Regulation has been followed by a House bill. H.R. 5034 was introduced yesterday by Representative Bill Delahunt (D-Mass.) with support from the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA). The bill is also called the "CARE" (Comprehensive Alcohol Regulatory Effectiveness) Act of 2010, and Wine […]

Massachusetts will not appeal Family Winemakers decision

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley will not appeal a January Federal Appeals Court decision upholding an earlier District Court decision which overturned the 2005 direct shipping law.  In January, the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the 2008 district court ruling that found that the state law governing direct-to-consumer shipments by wineries was unconstitutional. […]

New Hampshire Updates Monthly Reporting Form

The New Hampshire Liquor Commission has just established a new fax line dedicated to direct shipping. Direct Shippers should fax their monthly report to the new fax number 603-271-8424 on or before the 10th of the following month. Direct Shipping Reports must be filed each month regardless of activity. Wineries with no shipments to report […]

Possible Effects of Recent Congressional Hearing on Direct Shipping

You may have seen reports about a recent U.S. Congressional subcommittee hearing on “Legal Issues Concerning State Alcohol Regulation.” The hearing was important for anyone concerned about direct-to-consumer wine shipping since a primary question was whether federal courts should be stripped of their authority to strike down state alcohol laws that discriminate against out-of-state businesses—the […]

Virginia Passes Fix-It Bill for Third Party Shippers

Wine Institute Eastern Counsel Terri Beirne has been working since July 2009 with the Virginia ABC Board, and representatives of Wine America and the Virginia wineries to resolve problems created by Virginia ABC Circular Letter 09-05. That Circular prohibited Virginia direct wine shippers from using any third-party service providers, namely fulfillment or pick and pack […]

Iowa Governor Signs Direct Shipping Legislation

On March 10, 2010, Governor Culver signed Senate Bill 2088 which includes provisions to transition Iowa from a reciprocal shipping state to a permit state and allow unlimited direct-to-consumer shipments. The legislation will become effective on July 1, 2010, and brings Iowa into compliance with the Supreme Court’s 2005 Granholm v. Heald ruling by allowing […]

Direct Shipping Licensing Updates

Michigan Direct shipping permits for Michigan are renewable on May 1. The annual renewal cost for the Michigan Permit is $100; the same as the initial permit fee. For those wineries that do not have a direct shipping permit for MI now is good time to consider applying. Licenses are valid from May 1 – […]

Hidden Costs of Direct Shipping Licensing

Before jumping into a direct shipping program in a new state, wineries should consider their current prospect list, market potential, shipping difficulty and costs. When it comes to calculating start-up costs to enter a new state, there is often more than meets the eye. In addition to license fees, wineries may need to budget for […]

Next Steps in Direct Shipping: Refining State Laws

As readers of this blog know, direct-to-consumer shipping has been a watchword among wineries for more than a decade. The result of all of this attention is a national shipping market that allows consumers in 37 states representing 82% of the U.S. population to receive wine purchased off-site legally. Persistent lobbying efforts and the collapse […]

Notes on Wine Distribution v.32

The latest version of “Notes on Wine Distribution”, by R. Corbin Houchins, is now available. Release 32 includes updates on legislation, litigation and general discussions on available distribution channels for wine. This release includes substantial changes, including new sections on age and identity, facial neutrality, and logistical support services, as well as updates to state […]

Representing Change: One Piece of Washington's Overhaul

Last year, Washington State relaxed some of its restrictive alcoholic beverage laws as a result of a couple of comprehensive bills that passed the legislature (SB 5834 and HB 2040). The mandatory minimum markups between suppliers and wholesalers and between wholesalers and retailers are now history. Retailers can now pay suppliers using electronic funds transfers […]

Siesta's Over

On January 26th, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ended the puzzling status of interstate retailing in Texas created by the lower court’s decision in Siesta Village Market. The district court had ruled that out-of-state retailers had a Commerce Clause right to sell wine to Texas consumers, but only wine that had been purchased from […]

High Fives in the First Circuit

Justified jubilation greeted the 14 January 2010 decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, which affirmed the federal district court decision of 19 November 2008 in Family Winemakers of California v. Jenkins, invalidating the Massachusetts “volume cap.” (see previous post “Huge win for wineries, but can I ship to Massachusetts […]

Huge win for wineries, but can I ship to Massachusetts now?

First Circuit affirms District Court decision On Thursday, January 14th, the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit affirmed the judgment of the District Court in the case of Family Winemakers of California v. Jenkins. The appellatte decision represents a major victory for wineries and may be the end of the case that […]

5 Tips to Ease Year-End Reporting Blues

Each January, monthly, semi-annual and annual reporting periods for direct shippers collide for a perfect report storm. This year, for wineries that ship to all available states, 69 different direct shipping and tax reports are due—53% more than the average monthly load. In 2009, direct shippers were required to submit a total of 722 direct […]

Virginia ABC Offers Interim Solutions for Wineries Shipping Through Third Party Service Providers

On November 19, Terri Beirne, Wine Institute’s Eastern Counsel, met with the Virginia ABC Board, their Director, and representatives of Wine America and the Virginia wineries to continue discussions about the July Circular Letter 09-05 prohibiting direct shippers from using any third party service providers. Despite earlier indications, the Board has no plans to issue […]

Three Great Options to Get the Latest Compliance Updates

The constantly changing regulatory environment for wine shipping and distribution poses an ongoing challenge for wineries looking to get their products into the hands of eager consumers.  Three upcoming compliance events will give wineries an up-to-date look at the latest industry changes and provide interactive discussion with a chance to meet the ShipCompliant team. Paso […]

Wisconsin County and Stadium Local Taxes

All businesses registered with the Wisconsin Department of Revenue received a notice (see below) that county and stadium taxes must be remitted beginning October 1st, 2009. Wineries shipping into Wisconsin are subject to this change. For all orders that were taken after October 1st and shipped to Wisconsin residents, wine shippers must remit the appropriate […]

Amazon's Exit From Wine Business Shouldn't Hurt Wineries' Online Sales

The much-anticipated entrance of Amazon.com into the wine industry has come to an end before it ever got off the ground. The prospect of Amazon’s wine site sent a wave of excitement throughout the industry as small and medium sized domestic brands with limited distribution saw an opportunity to get exposure through Amazon’s enormous book […]

Maine Direct Shipping Permit Applications Available

The direct shipping applications for Maine are now available on the Wine Institute website. The direct shipping permit allows wineries to ship up to 12 nine liter cases of wine to a recipient’s address each year. The Department of Public Safety, Liquor Licensing and Inspection Division has confirmed that there are no prohibited shipping areas […]

Montana: No Federal Onsite Shipments, Please

The Montana Dept. of Revenue, Liquor Control Division recently confirmed that consumers in Montana are prohibited from receiving direct wine shipments under the Federal Onsite provision (sec. 11022 of Public Law 107-273). Montana law only allows consumers with a connoisseur’s license to receive direct wine shipments. However, the common carriers, FedEx and UPS, have NOT […]

Maine Direct Shipping Applications Update

The Maine Bureau of Liquor Enforcement has indicated that direct shipping license applications will be available on September 12, 2009, the same day the direct shipping law becomes effective. Wineries should contact Lori Nolette, the contact for liquor licensing and compliance at the Bureau, for a copy of the application once it becomes available. The […]

Tennessee Direct Shipper Applications and Instructions Available

Wineries are now able to apply to the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission for a Direct Shipper license. Direct Shipper licensees may ship no more than 1 case (9 liters) of wine to a Tennessee consumer during a calendar month and total shipments to each consumer may not exceed 3 cases (27 liters) of wine during […]

Texas to Roll Out New Volume Limits

New rules in Texas should benefit Lone Star consumers, and also make life a little easier for wineries. On June 19th, Texas Governor Rick Perry signed into law HB 1084, which will take effect on September 1st, 2009. Under the new rules, three different volume limits replace the existing set of two limits for licensed […]

Excise Taxes Rise in Two Direct Shipping States

On September 1, 2009, excise tax rates for wine will increase in Illinois and North Carolina. Governor Pat Quinn approved Illinois House Bill 255 on July 13, 2009. The bill increases Illinois’ excise tax on wines from $0.73 to $1.39 per gallon of wine under 20% ABV. An updated tax form for Direct Wine Shippers […]

Wine Institute Working To Clarify Impact Of VA ABC Circular 09-05

Wine Institute and other industry representatives met with the Virginia ABC this week concerning their July 22, 2009 circular No. 09-05 governing use of third party service providers in direct shipments.   The ABC staff was well aware of the concerns nationwide that their recent opinion has generated, but remained firm in their position that such […]

Virginia Goes Circular on Third Party Shippers

If you are licensed to ship wine into the Commonwealth of Virginia, you likely received the following letter last week from the Virginia ABC. TO: All Virginia Licensed Shippers FROM: Francis J. Monahan, Director, Bureau of Law Enforcement SUBJECT: UNAUTHORIZED PRACTICES DATE: July 22nd, 2009 In state and out of state Virginia shipper licensees may […]

Annual Filing Option Now Available for Direct Shippers in New York

New York has recently amended its alcohol beverage tax regulations to allow certain wine distributors to file Form MT-40 (Wine Tax Return) on an annual basis rather than a monthly basis. Out-of-State wineries must be licensed by the New York State Liquor Authority as a direct shipper and submit the “Application for Annual Tax Return […]

Tennessee Direct Shipping Applications Available – What You Need to Know

Tennessee direct shipping license applications are now available. While Tennessee officially became a Limited state on July 1, wineries cannot legally ship to this state until their direct shipping license has been approved. The application states that direct shippers may only ship to wet areas within the state; a condition that may make the state […]

Still Looking for Granholm’s Limits

Anyone hoping the intermediate appellate court reversed in Granholm had become pro-commerce would have been disappointed by the July 1st decision of the Second Circuit in Arnold’s Wines, Inc. v. Boyle. At issue was whether a state permitting its local retail licensees to ship directly to consumers might constitutionally deny out-of-state retail licensees equivalent access. […]

Add Two to the List of Open States, and Many More Updates, Effective Today

Tennessee, Kansas Open For Direct Shipping Today, both Kansas and Tennessee open for direct shipping – the first two states to open in almost three years. These are the first states to change from Prohibited to Limited since Vermont in late 2006. As of today, Kansas residents have direct access to up to twelve cases […]

Details on Submitting the Kansas Special Order Shipping License Application

As of June 25th, wineries may apply for a Special Order Shipping License that allows them to ship off-site sales to Kansas consumers (on-site sales do not require a Shipping License). The initial costs for the Special Order Shipping License include a $50 license fee and a $50 registration fee. The license will be valid […]

Kansas permit applications available, Tennessee coming soon…

Late yesterday the Kansas ABC posted their applications for direct shipping on their website.  Wine producers across the country can now apply for permission to direct ship wine to Kansas consumers effective July 1, 2009. Kansas SB 212 was signed into law by Governor Kathleen Sebelius on April 10. Wineries interested in avoiding the hassle […]

Release Thirty-One of "Notes on Wine Distribution"

R. Corbin Houchins’s latest “Notes on Wine Distribution” are now available. Release 31 includes updates on legislation, litigation and general discussions on available distribution channels for wine. In addition to country-wide topics such as “Direct Shipment by Retailers” and “A Limitation of Litigation”, distribution practices are also outlined on a state-by-state basis. Numerous states have […]

Maine Event, At Last

After years of trying, wine commerce proponents succeeded in adding Maine to the list of license states for direct shipment. Governor Baldacci signed HP 696/LD 1008 on June 12th. After the Bureau of Liquor Enforcement adopts regulations and licensing procedures, the law will permit out-of-state and Maine farm wineries alike to ship wine (but not […]

ShipCompliant User's Conference 2009 – Live

If you were unable to attend today’s event, you can still feel like you’re part of the excitement – watch the 4th annual ShipCompliant Direct Shipping Seminar from the comfort of your own office. Hear from industry leaders as they discuss how the current direct wine shipping landscape affects you, and how the industry will […]

CA: ABC Issues Industry Advisory on Outsourcing Marketing, Compliance and Logistics

On Friday, CA ABC issued an advisory to respond generally to the explosion of service providers that enable wineries to outsource one or more components of their D2C and D2T channels. Activities Requiring Licenses: The Department describes when third party providers require a license. In CA a license is required when a business sells (transfers […]

Tennessee keeps the ball rolling on direct shipping

Governor Phil Bredesen signed Senate Bill 166 into law today. With the passage of the bill, Tennessee will legally open its doors to winery direct shipping on July 1, 2009. Tennessee prohibited direct shipments from out-of-state wineries long before the landmark Granholm case. Even onsite shipments of wine were disallowed when the Attorney General issued […]

It's Alive! (and Waiting for the Governor's Signature) – Direct Shipping Bill in Maine

On May 29th, “An Act To Increase Consumer Choice for Wine” (H 696) won initial approval by the Maine House of Representatives. On June 1st, only one legislative day later, the proposed act was passed by the Senate. The bill is waiting for Governor Baldacci’s signature before becoming law. If passed, H 696 would provide […]

Wine compliance tweets, posts, events, and information

With every blog post, we research the facts and analyze the data to provide you with an in-depth look of the issues at hand. Though our staff hears news daily and keeps track of industry events and happenings, not all this information makes its way to the blog. We do, however, post updates, news stories, […]

On-Site Requirements: Still Standing in the Heartland

Last August, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Baude v. Heath invalidated an Indiana statute that made most out-of-state wineries ineligible for the “direct wine seller’s permit,” which the law would have limited to in-state wineries and to wineries in the few states that do not grant them local wholesaling privileges. However, the opinion […]

When Will The Wine Industry Rebound?

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,” […]

Round Four of the Florida Direct Shipping Battle Comes to a Close

The streak continues. Once again Florida lawmakers were unable to pass any direct-to-consumer bills. Legislators presented two distinct direct-to-consumer bills for the 2009 legislative session but both have failed to advance beyond committee. Senate Bill 764 (House Bill 245 is its counterpart), the more restrictive of the two, would have required an annual $250 fee, […]

Wine Freedom in the South? Tennessee Direct Shipping Bill Passes the Senate

Tennessee, one of 13 states that still bans direct-to-consumer shipping, took steps towards ending that association on April 13, 2009 when the Senate-approved Senate Bill 166, which allows direct shipments of wine. Currently, anyone who transports wine into Tennessee by bypassing the three-tier system is committing a felony (see Section 57-3-401.b of the Tennessee Code) […]

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 […]

Excise Taxes Updates, New York Up and North Dakota Down

The wine excise tax rate in New York will increase on May 1, 2009 from $0.1893 per gallon to $0.30 per gallon. Wine Institute was part of a coalition of industry members that actively opposed the NY Governor’s proposal for a wine excise tax and demonstrated the detrimental effects an excise tax increase would have […]

Kansas to Open for Winery Direct Shipping July 1st

The Kansas Legislature approved Senate Bill 212 on April 10, 2009. Governor Kathleen Sebelius followed suit today by signing the bill into law, which will go into effect on July 1st, 2009. Although the road to approval contained a few bumps and detours, the original purpose of the bill remained unchanged: to give out-of-state and […]

California Sales Tax Hike Starts Tomorrow

A Special Notice was sent out by California’s Board of Equalization early this month, alerting taxpayers that the sales and use tax rate in the state of California will increase by 1% on April 1, 2009. The tax increase is part of voter-approved Proposition 1A, a budget package designed to increase state revenue by $16 […]

One Less Dry Town in Connecticut

Back in July of 2005, Connecticut passed legislation affecting direct shipments of wine the entire state. At that time, four towns in Connecticut were dry. As of February 9th, 2009, only three dry towns remain where wine cannot be shipped directly to consumers. The town of Wilton recently held a public hearing in which a […]

Tennessee’s AG Rules Consumers May Not Bring Wine into Tennessee, Federal On-Site Provision No Longer Applies

On February 24th, 2009, Tennessee’s Attorney General issued Opinion No. 09-15, which concluded that consumers may not legally carry any amount of wine on their person into Tennessee. This ruling, prohibiting consumers from carrying wine into Tennessee, means that the federal on-site provision does not apply to consumers in Tennessee. Wineries are therefore prohibited from […]

Massachusetts Still Question Mark for 30K-Gallon Wineries

On January 16, 2009, the state filed its notice of appeal in the 2006 Granholm-based federal suit, Family Winemakers of California v. Jenkins. The District Court had entered judgment on December 18, 2008, enjoining enforcement of a statute that prevents direct shipment by 30,000-gallon-or-more wineries that sell through Massachusetts wholesalers (a category exclusively out-of-state), while […]

Michigan Direct-To-Consumer Rules Clarified

Many questions have resulted from a new law prohibiting wine retailers from shipping to consumers in Michigan that recently went into effect. The new law specifically bans common carriers (FedEx and UPS) from delivering retailer wine shipments to Michigan consumers. This law does not affect the existing regulations for wineries shipping to consumers under the […]

Come see us! Unified and other upcoming wine industry events

The ShipCompliant team is very excited to be in attendance at the Unified Wine and Grape Symposium this week. You can find us at Booth #1619. Our team will also be exhibiting at the DTC Symposium in Napa on 2/24 and at the Oregon Wine Symposium on 2/24 – 2/26. We hope you’ll stop by […]

Michigan Levels Down on Wine Retailers

In just five legislative days, Michigan House Bill 6644 was introduced, edited, voted upon, and enrolled. In a disappointing turn of events, the Michigan Senate passed HB 6644, with substitutions, by a count of 36 Yeas and just 2 Nays on December 18, 2008. The bill then returned to the House for a final vote […]

Kentucky On-Site Requirement Invalidated, but Questions Remain

On December 24th, the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed, in the Cherry Hill case, the judgment of the district court, invalidating the on-site purchase requirement. The district court ruled, pursuant to the Supreme Court’s decision in Granholm v. Heald, 544 U.S. 460 (2005), that the in-person purchase requirement in portions of […]

Tips for Making End of Year Reporting Easier

Scrooge asks: Do you have tracking numbers for all 2008 Missouri shipments? Are you ready with your TTB IDs for the products you shipped into New York? Are you aware of Wisconsin’s new electronic filing requirement? If so, will you go with the manual Free File of the XML file submission? Did all of your […]

Up and Running (So Far)

Happily for the plaintiffs, Judge Zobel’s final judgment in Family Winemakers of California v. Jenkins took the path that seemed most likely from the tone and content of her memorandum and order of 19 November 2008 and leveled up. The judgment entered 18 December 2008 orders the state “to permit wineries of all sizes to […]

Utah Allows Shipment of Wine? Well, Not Exactly

In one of the most regulated and restricted states in the US, residents may now special-order alcohol online. The Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (DABC) announced that Utah residents may use an online Special Order Form to purchase alcohol that is otherwise unavailable in the State’s liquor stores. The alcohol would then be shipped […]

The Return of the Florida Wine Shipping Bill

Wineries and consumers have enjoyed relatively unrestricted wine shipping into Florida since 2006. This could change if direct shipping legislation is passed this year. Florida is gearing up for another legislative session and direct wine shipment legislation is on the docket, once again. The Florida Senate’s regular session will convene on March 3rd, but an […]

Hope Rests in Senate as Michigan House Passes Ban on Retail to Consumer Direct Shipments

Michigan House Bill 6644 passed with 97 Yeas and 9 Nays on December 4, 2008. If passed by the Senate, HB 6644 would ban all retailers, in-state and out-of-state, from direct shipping wine to Michigan residents. In the last days of Michigan’s current legislative session, expected to adjourn soon, the failure or passage of this […]

One Less Dry Town in New Hampshire

Wineries with a valid direct-to-consumer shipping permit may now ship to consumers in Landaff, New Hampshire. The city of Landaff voted to end its status as a dry town effective immediately. Four dry cities remain in New Hampshire: Brookfield, Ellsworth, Monroe and Sharon. Wineries are prohibited from shipping wine to consumers in dry regions in […]

Wine Distribution Notes – Release 30

Release 30 of Notes on Wine Distribution by R. Corbin Houchins is now available for viewing or downloading. The Notes provide thoughtful insight on the state of direct shipping rules and valuable information on current litigation and legislation for each of the United States (plus DC), with changes from the preceding release indicated by highlighted […]

Face-to-Face Enforced in Indiana

The Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission is now enforcing the statutory citation concerning the initial face-to-face transaction requirement in Section 7.1-3-26-6. The face-to-face requirement originally became effective on July 1, 2006, but was later stayed by the Court on August 24, 2007. However, the stay has expired and it is recommended that direct shippers comply […]

An Unfortunate Direct Shipping License Clarification in Texas

Wineries applying for a Texas Direct Wine Shipper’s Permit or renewing their existing permit must now pay a surcharge of $160 in addition to the $75 annual permit fee. Currently the Direct Shipper’s permit is renewed annually. However, beginning January 1, 2009 all Direct Shipper licenses will be valid for two years. Applicants will have […]

A Battle Well-Picked and Well-Fought

David does best when he can choose the right Goliath. The Massachusetts volume cap on direct shipment, invalidated last week in Family Winemakers of Calif. v. Jenkins, was a good choice to challenge for at least three reasons. First, there was gold in the legislative record: a sponsor described the bill as “giving an inherent […]

Wisconsin Liquor Reporting: Reciprocal (9 months) + Electronic Filing (3 months)

Effective October 1st, 2008, Wisconsin requires electronic filing for reporting shipments of wine into Wisconsin. According to Wisconsin, filing and paying taxes online is more accurate, more certain, and means better business. And, as we’ve discussed previously, it’s also green and convenient. Direct shippers must file their first excise tax report as a permitted Wine […]

Family Winemakers Court Win is Big for the Industry

On November 19th, 2008, Judge Rya W. Zobel, in the case of Family Winemakers of California v. Jenkins, allowed the plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment, concluding that Massachusetts General Laws chapter 138, section 19F: … has a discriminatory effect on interstate commerce because as a practical matter it prevents the direct shipment of 98% of […]

Road-Trippin’: Self-Distribution in Oklahoma May Be Too Far Out of the Way for Some

On November 4, 2008, Oklahoma voters passed State Question 743 (SQ 743) by approximately a four to one margin. The referendum opened self-distribution for in-state and out-of-state wineries to distribute to retailers and restaurants in the state of Oklahoma, with some restrictions. Self-distribution in Oklahoma is now more accessible to wineries across the country. In-state […]

The WSLCB Announces Online Tax Reporting and Payment System

Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) just made filing monthly summary tax reports and paying taxes a little easier by providing an online tax filing option for wineries shipping to consumers and retailers in Washington. The WSLCB encourages wineries to use their Online Tax Reporting and Payment System which saves time and simplifies the tax […]

Mark Your Calendar Because Idaho Won't: Direct Shipper Permit Renewal

This is a reminder that Idaho Direct Shipping Permit holders must submit a renewal form before the expiration date of their current permit (Direct Shipping Permits expire a year after the date of issue). Idaho does not send out renewal notices, thus it is the responsibility of the permit holder to obtain and submit the […]

Appeals Court Calls for More Facts in Challenge to Tennessee On-site Law

The October 24th decision of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Jelovsek v. Bredesen has been widely reported as upholding face-to-face on-site purchase requirements for winery sales to consumers. There is, however, an interesting disconnect between what the district court said when it dismissed the complaint and what the appellate court said in partly […]

Direct Shipping Online Seminar: Last Chance to Register

This is a quick reminder that we will hold an online direct shipping seminar for wineries tomorrow (October 16th) at 10am PT. Over 550 people have registered for this event so far. Click the button below to register for this FREE event. October 16th Online Direct Shipping Seminar

Hold the Toasts in Michigan

On October 6th, 2008, the judgment in Siesta Village Markets LLC v. Granholm was stayed by agreement of the parties, to give the state time to appeal and, if the appeal is taken, to leave the current law in force for the duration of the appellate process. It seems almost certain the defendants will appeal. […]

DHL to Cease Wine Shipments Nov 3rd

Steve Bachmann at The Wine Collector is reporting that DHL has notified its customers that it will cease wine shipments effective November 3rd. DHL has struggled to gain a foothold in the interstate wine shipping market, where FedEx and UPS dominate. If you have received the notification letter from DHL, we’d love to see a […]

Granholm, the Sequel

On September 30, 2008, a federal district court ordered Michigan to give out-of-state retailers access to Michigan consumers to whom local retailers could sell wine. The reasoning in Siesta Village Market LLC v. Granholm closely parallels that of the landmark Supreme Court decision, Granholm v. Heald, in effect rendering Governor Jennifer Granholm a serial violator […]

Wisconsin Becomes a Limited State Today: I'll Have Some Wine with that Cheese, Please

Beginning today, October 1, 2008, Wisconsin is open to direct wine shipments from wineries throughout the country. Direct shipments to consumers in Wisconsin must be shipped under Wisconsin’s new “Direct Wine Shipper’s Permit”; reciprocal shipments of wines are no longer allowed. New direct shipping regulations include: a $200 Direct Shipping license, payment of sales and […]

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

ShipCompliant 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, […]

District of Columbia Increases Volume Limits

Washington, D.C. recently made an adjustment to its direct-to-consumer wine shipping law that benefits the industry and consumers. The volume limit has increased from 1 quart to 1 case per person per winery per month. Washington, D.C. consumers are now allowed to order up to 1 case of wine per month from any number of […]

Indiana Still Standing on Their Face

On September 11th, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeal said that they will not rehear an appeal concerning the original opinion of the Court in Indiana. The denial to rehear the case confirms that currently it is legally within the power of the State of Indiana to require wineries to ship wine to Indiana consumers […]

Louisiana Shipping Rules

In response to questions about shipping wine to Louisiana, I thought a short summary of direct-to-consumer wine shipping rules was in order. Louisiana regulations do not prohibit wineries with a relationship with a licensed wholesaler in Louisiana from making off-site direct-to-consumer shipments. The Alcohol and Tobacco Control Office allows a winery to direct ship any […]

Wisconsin Permit Applications Available

The Wine Direct Shipper permit application is now up on Wisconsin’s website. Wisconsin approved licensed direct shipping legislation back in March, which will allow wineries in every state to ship limited amounts of wine to Wisconsin residents, beginning October 1, 2008. Here’s some basic information on how to apply for the direct wine shipping permit: […]

The Lone Star State: To File Monthly or Quarterly, that is the Question

As was reported earlier this week, the Texas C-240 Direct Shipper’s Report will change from a monthly to a quarterly return for orders shipped after September 1st. However, we’ve received a number of questions about how to report shipments for the month of August. August is the last month that will require a monthly return, […]

Good News from Texas

On September 1, 2008 Texas will begin requiring direct shipping reports to be submitted on a quarterly basis. Reports will be due within 15 days of the completion of every 3 month quarter. Currently, direct shippers must file a report and pay taxes every month. The new report will no longer require direct shippers to […]

Georgia Clarifies Direct-to-Consumer Shipping Rule

Wine Institute has received information clarifying Georgia’s direct-to-consumer wine shipping regulations. The rule allowing on-site shipments without a permit was not repealed on July 1, 2008 when the new permit law became effective. All wineries may continue to ship up to 5 cases of wine to a Georgia household annually provided the wine was purchased […]

Attention 17/20s: 17 + 20 ≠ 02

That’s right – when California License Type 17 (Beer and Wine Wholesaler) and License Type 20 (Beer and Wine Off-Sale Retailer) are issued in conjunction, the privileges associated with the combination license are not equivalent to those of the 02 Winegrower’s License. A Type 17 License “permits incidental sales to other supplier-type licensees” and a […]

A Little Knowledge Is Not Enough: Evidentiary Burdens In On-Site Cases

The August 7th decision of the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Baude v. Heath has been characterized as a loss in the fight against on-site purchase requirements. Indeed, the opinion leaves Indiana’s initial personal visit requirement in place. That is not, however, the whole story. It’s important to keep in mind in […]

7th Circuit Reverses Indiana Face to Face Ban

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals made an important decision yesterday regarding face-to-face transactions when shipping wine directly to Indiana consumers. After Indiana initially passed its direct shipping laws to comply with Granholm, the face-to-face requirement was successfully challenged in August of 2007. However, yesterday’s decision will eventually reverse the face-to-face clause. None of the […]

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 […]

380 Attend Compliance Conference: Video & Slides Now Available

ShipCompliant’s 3rd annual Direct Shipping Seminar and Users Conference was the largest yet with over 380 winery staff, ShipCompliant users, and ShipCompliant partners in attendance. Our team offers sincere thanks to our customers, partners and attendees for a productive and enjoyable day. This day would not have been possible without the support of our industry […]

Beat the Heat. Free temperature forecasting tool for wine shippers

During the hot summer months, wine shipping practically grinds to a halt due to high temperatures and an inability to navigate the whims of mother nature. To address this problem, ShipCompliant has developed an innovative free temperature forecasting tool that filters your order files by temperature within the destination zip code. Up until this point, […]

Live! 2008 ShipCompliant Users Conference

We are streaming the morning session of the 3rd annual ShipCompliant Users Conference and Compliance Seminar.  The event is completely sold out with over 300 people in attendance.  Please click on the image below, register and begin viewing the largest direct to consumer event in the wine industry.

Google, WITS, and PCI Compliance

There’s a very interesting article from the New York Times yesterday that analyzes the not so subtle addition of a new link on google.com. You can now see a tiny link on the word “Privacy” at the bottom of the Google homepage. With that one word, the Web search giant heads off the growing controversy […]

Illinois Offers a Bit of Green for Direct Wine Shippers

For those of you that have started shipping to Illinois under their new permit system, your first round of reporting will come due this month. Fortunately, Illinois makes it easy to report your shipments and pay taxes. Electronic filing and payment is available for the Liquor Direct Wine Shipper Return (RL-26-W), and the Sales and […]

Half-Year Hullabaloo: New Laws Take Effect in Three States Today

Just a quick reminder of the legislative changes that take effect today, July 1st, 2008. Georgia’s new permit system takes effect. All wineries can now apply for a permit, regardless of distributor representation. Click here to see how to apply for a direct shipping permit. Ohio is increasing their capacity cap, making it possible for […]

Ohio Ups Gallonage Cap

On June 2nd, Governor Strickland signed an emergency measure that upped the capacity cap from 150,000 gallons to 250,000 gallons. The measure goes into effect on July 1, 2008 and amends Section 4301.10(A)(8)(c) of the Ohio Revised Code. The 100,000 gallon increase results in benefits for wineries and consumers alike. Now wineries producing between 150,000 […]

Georgia – Amended Wine Special Order Applications Available

The amended Georgia Special Order Shipping License application is now available on the Wine Institute and Georgia Department of Revenue websites. Wineries will be required to have an approved Wine Special Order Shipping License and comply with new direct-to-consumer shipping regulations beginning July 1, 2008. The new law increases the quantity limit to 12 cases […]

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 […]

Family Winemakers of California Making Headway in Massachusetts

On May 29, 2008, Family Winemakers of California filed a motion for summary judgment in Family Winemakers of California v. Jenkins, now before the federal district court for Massachusetts. The suit alleges that section 19F, the Massachusetts law that permits direct-to-consumer wine shipping, is unconstitutional because it “unequivocally discriminates against interstate commerce in both purpose […]

Georgia Direct Shipper Application Update

Georgia will require wineries to have an approved direct shipper’s permit, pay excise tax, state sales and local sales tax in order to ship direct to GA consumers beginning July 1, 2008. The Georgia Department of Revenue, Alcohol and Tobacco Division is developing a New Direct Shipper Application which will include information about how to […]

Washington: Making Change, Streamlined Style

On July 1st, 2008, when Substitute Senate Bill 5089 takes effect, Washington will join twenty-one other states that have conformed to the “Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement”. The bill will change the way retail sales tax is collected for some Washington businesses. Beginning July 1st, 2008, any business with nexus in Washington must pay […]

It's Not Easy Being Green…But Electronic Filing Makes It Easier

Image, “Office Paper, 2007” by Chris Jordan. June 5th was World Environment Day. And in honor of the wonderful planet on which we live, here’s a look at how some states are doing their part to make it easy for direct-to-consumer wine shippers to be eco-friendly. Generally speaking, businesses are looking to become greener; it […]

Arizona Clarifies On-Site Shipping Law

Following our May 6th submission, Wine Institute received further clarification from the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses & Control regarding their continuing interpretation of the on-site sales law. Wineries may ship up to 2 cases of wine per Arizona consumer per calendar year as long as the consumer purchases the wine while physically visiting the […]

City Tax in Arizona: Get with the Program… and the Non-Program

Just as a state can create their own alcoholic beverage regulations, so can they implement their own, distinct, taxing regulations. Arizona has recently clarified their sales tax requirements, applicable to wineries licensed to sell offsite sales of wine directly to Arizona consumers. According to the Arizona Department of Revenue, sales tax (called, “transaction privilege or […]

10 Days Left Until Illinois Permit Deadline

Just a friendly reminder that beginning June 1st, 2008, Illinois will require a permit for all direct-to-consumer wine shipments to the state. A winery must receive the permit before it may begin/resume shipment to the state. In 10 days, under the newly-promulgated wine shipping law, wineries and retailers that have been shipping to Illinois under […]

Wine Distribution Notes – Release 28

The latest version of Notes on Wine Distribution by R. Corbin Houchins is now available for viewing or downloading. Release 28 highlights changes in the following categories: Age & Identity Verification, Rethinking Reciprocity and State Notes, specifically Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Ohio, Oregon and Pennsylvania. Headings of sections with substantial changes since the preceding release […]

Checklist and detailed instructions for Illinois permit applicants

Beginning June 1, 2008 wineries will be required to have an “Out-of-State Winery Shipper’s License,” file reports, obtain a bond and pay sales and excise tax in order to ship wine to consumers in Illinois. Wineries with a valid Shipper’s License issued by the Illinois Liquor Control Commission will be permitted to ship up to […]

Georgia is a "Go": Residents Can Now Join Wine Clubs and Buy Wine Online from All Wineries

Good news, wineries – shipping to Georgia just got a whole lot easier! As we mentioned in a previous post, House Bill 1061 had passed in the House and has since passed in the Senate. It made its way onto the Governor’s table on April 15th, and Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue signed it into law […]

Arizona Confirms a Minor Change to its Direct-To-Consumer Law

The Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses & Control has confirmed a minor change to its direct-to-consumer wine shipping regulations, effective immediately. Under the original interpretation of the direct shipping law Arizona residents could not receive direct-to-consumer wine shipments unless they purchased the wine on-site, and shipments did not exceed 2 cases per consumer per year. […]

Florida escapes capacity cap at the wire

It came down to the wire, but the always heated battle in Florida ended with the legislative session closing on Friday with no bills making it out of the state congress. Multiple bills were considered for wine direct shipping, most of which included a “capacity cap” on annual production for wine shippers. The major winery […]

Update Your Address Books: New Hampshire Has a Revised Direct Shipping Monthly Report

New Hampshire has updated their Monthly Direct Shipping Report Form. According to the NH Bureau of Enforcement, many wineries have been sending this report to the wrong address; the new form has been issued in part to remedy the incorrect send-to address. The new form is in an Excel format for easier use, and will […]

Illinois Direct-to-Consumer Permit Applications Available

The Illinois Direct-to-Consumer Permit applications are now available on the Wine Institute and Illinois Liquor Control Commission’s websites. Beginning June 1, 2008 wineries will be required to have an “Out-of-State Winery Shipper’s License,” file reports, obtain a bond and pay sales and excise tax in order to ship wine to consumers in Illinois. Wineries with […]

Wine Is Not the Maine Event

A bill that would have allowed in-state and out-of-state producers, suppliers, importers, wholesalers, distributors and retailers to ship wine to Maine consumers passed through the Senate but after a close vote, died on the House floor yesterday evening. If LD1987 (a.k.a. SP781) would have passed as amended by the Senate, the bill would have allowed […]

More Events – come join us!

ShipCompliant will be participating in two events this month. If you are in the area, please try to attend! Women for WineSense Professional Members Only – Real Life Compliance Solutions This event is meant to supplement the full-day TTB seminars occurring in the area at the same time. A legal overview will be provided by […]

Caps Off to Dolan's Intentions

In October of last year, wineries began shipping directly to Ohio residents under a new direct shipping permit law. When the provisions of the law in Ohio were first announced, one of the major subjects of controversy was the capacity cap, which only allows wineries that produce less than 150,000 gallons annually to obtain a […]

Direct to Consumer Symposium – May 1st and 2nd 2008

Direct to Consumer Symposium May 1-2, 2008 Meritage Resort, Napa, CA Proceeds to Benefit Coalition for Free Trade and Free the Grapes! Register here Sessions will include: Who Is Buying? Consumer Research Findings Starting a Winning Direct Marketing Program Direct to Consumer Legislation and Enforcement Using Food & Wine Marketing to Increase Tasting Room Traffic […]

Rhode Island and Alabama: Let My Pinot Go!

As legislative sessions continue to progress across the country, more and more legislative bills concerning direct shipments of wine are being considered. If the bills mentioned in this post pass, two states will change from being prohibited states to permit states. The last state to change from a prohibited state to a permit state was […]

Thanks Again to Our Readers

As you might have noticed by the re-emergence of the logo on the sidebar of this page over the last week, we have been nominated as a finalist for the second edition of the American Wine Blog Awards in the category of Best Wine Business Blog. We are very honored by this distinction and we […]

An Accident On The Way To Court

The February 26, 2008 decision by an Arizona federal district court in Black Star Farms LLC v. Oliver supports an in-person purchase requirement, one of the principal legislative attacks on the level-field principle enunciated in Granholm. In-person purchase as a precondition to direct shipment solves a fundamental political problem for the middle tier. Although Granholm […]

Tennessee Wholesalers – Crossing the Line?

There are a couple of direct shipping bills in the Tennessee legislature that would allow Tennessee consumers to order wine from any winery or retailer in the country, with some of the regular restrictions. This would be a big deal, considering direct shipments into Tennessee have not been allowed from any state in recent history. […]

Kill the Bill: Maryland and Direct Wine Shipping

Maryland continues to be one of six states in which direct shipping is completely prohibited. In a previous post we reported that HB1260 and SB616 were favorable direct shipping bills in Maryland’s current legislative session. Both of these bills died in committee. If passed, they would have allowed permitted wineries and retailers to ship directly […]

Wisconsin Direct Shipping Bill Receives Governor's Signature

Senate Bill 485 was passed into law yesterday, making Wisconsin the newest addition to the list of permit states. Wisconsin was one of the three remaining states that had yet to change their direct shipping laws since the Granholm ruling. Direct shipping law did not authorize intra-state shipments of wine to consumers, and the reciprocity […]

Just Peachy: More Wineries Could Be Eligible for Direct Shipping

A bill is being considered in Georgia that could potentially open up the state to all wineries for direct shipping. The permit system that is in place right now works pretty well for eligible wineries, but the major issue is that some funky language makes it so that wineries cannot ship offsite orders to Georgia […]

WSWA on Wine Shippers: “Flaunting their disdain”

Just over a week ago, on the same day that the Specialty Wine Retailers Association held their first annual symposium, the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America issued a press release. This in itself was not remarkable – the WSWA has an active PR effort working to ensure their views are presented to the mainstream […]

Wine Distribution Notes – Release 26

Release 26 of Notes on Wine Distribution by R. Corbin Houchins is now available for viewing. These notes are a great resource for keeping up to date with developing trends in direct shipping and direct distribution. As always, you can find the most recent version of these notes at the ShipCompliant Blog by clicking on […]

Another Rowe to Hoe

There’s been a lot of silliness lately about the Maine cigarette case, with some observers declaring that the recent Supreme Court opinion in Rowe v. New Hampshire Motor Transport Ass’n prevents states from regulating carrier deliveries of interstate wine shipments. Whether honest mistake or disinformation, that assertion might seem plausible from a superficial reading of […]

Three New Florida Bills: Not the Ducks or the Bucks, but the Winery Shipper Ones

The Regular session of the Florida Legislature will convene on March 4, 2008. During the 60 days following, legislators should decide on one of three winery shipping bills that could be introduced into Florida law. I say should, hoping that last year’s unsuccessful passage will not be repeated. Since 2006, wineries have been able to […]

Costco Asks Court of Appeals to Think Again

On February 19, 2008, Costco Wholesale filed a petition for rehearing in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, asking the original panel to reconsider a three-judge panel’s decision of January 29th, which upheld the ruling of a federal district court in Seattle that Washington’s price posting requirement is invalid under federal antitrust law, but reinstated […]

Reciprocity Lives (well, at least in New Mexico)

With all the support SB59 received, it seemed hopeful that another reciprocal state would move from yellow to blue. The new bill would have replaced the existing reciprocal wine shipping law with a permit system for both wineries and retailers. Regrettably, it did not reach the New Mexico House floor before the session ended last […]

A call to action in Maryland

Maryland is currently one of six states, including Utah, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, and Pennsylvania, where all direct shipping is prohibited for both offsite and onsite sales. In fact, shipping wine into Maryland today can result in a felony. But, that could all change soon. House Bill 1260 and its companion, Senate Bill 616, would establish […]

Nebraska License Requirements Clarified

It has come to my attention that information concerning Nebraska’s direct-to-consumer shipping regulations on the Wine Institute website was misleading. The “Direct Shipping License Required” Rule was not listed as a requirement for on-site shipments to Nebraska consumers. The website has been updated to show that a direct shipping license is required for on-site and […]

Missouri: Beware the yellow highlighter!

The Missouri Division of Alcohol & Tobacco Control is being extremely thorough in enforcing accurate reporting and excise tax payments. We’ve heard from a number of wineries that filed the Wine Direct Shipper Annual Report and Tax Computation report with the associated Sales to Missouri Residents by Wine Direct Shipper (form 40) schedule on time, […]

Six Veils Out of Seven: Retailer Shipments Under Granholm

On January 14, 2008, a district court in Texas rendered a mostly pro-trade decision in Siesta Village Market, LLC v. Perry that clarified much, but danced around the hottest issue, leaving the final veil in place. The case upholds the basic Specialty Wine Retailers contention that a state that allows its retailers to deliver to […]

Dulling the Cutting Edge

Yesterday’s decision of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected almost everything about the trial court’s decision in Costco Wholesale Corp. v. Hoen that was innovative under federal antitrust law, turning the case into an expression of conservative deference to state law. Appellate judges did not even throw Costco the scrap of a favorable word […]

A setback for Costco

A three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled yesterday in the case of Costco Wholesale Corp. v. Hoen. The panel largely reversed the April, 2006 decision that declared much of Washington’s three-tier system to be unconstitutional. Although the court did agree with Costco that the “post and hold” […]

Retailers win one, lose one in Texas court

Judge Sidney Fitzwater of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas handed down a very important decision on Monday. In the Siesta Village Market Opinion, Judge Fitzwater said the following The court concludes that Texas’ ban on the sale and shipment of wine by out-of-state retailers to Texas residents is unconstitutional, but […]

Oregon – The Next Round is Just Starting

With a new law allowing out-of-state wineries to sell directly to Oregon retailers, effective January 1, Oregon looked like a bright star in the winery self-distribution field. Oregon had chosen to level up, allowing both domestic and out-of-state wineries to sell direct to retailers. It seemed as if free trade in wine had arrived. But, […]

Welcome Alex Heckathorn

We’re pleased to introduce our friend Alex Heckathorn as a guest blogger. Alex has been a principal in Compliance Services of America (CSA) for over 10 years. As an attorney for CSA, Alex advises and licenses wineries, brewpubs, importers, wholesalers, distillers and brand builders across the US.

What were they thinking?

Naturally, there is another side to the story, which deserves analysis because of the policy issues it raises for liberalization of wine distribution laws, a goal nearly every commentator embraces. First, Wine.com’s own justification: Wine Spectator Online for January 8th quotes CEO Richard Bergsund, who declared, “We’d like to see markets open up, and we’d […]

Wine.com stings fellow retailers

Wine.com is apparently not in the holiday spirit. They recently set up a number of sting operations by purchasing wine on their competitors’ sites and notifying state ABCs that illegal shipments were on the way. Vinography has the full scoop. Be sure to read the comments below the post as well to see a pretty […]

New Oregon rules are live – reminder to get the new permit

Just a quick reminder that the new permit system took effect in Oregon on January 1st. Even if you previously had a reciprocal shipping permit to ship into Oregon, you now need their new permit to continue direct shipping. For wineries in states that were not considered to be “reciprocal” with Oregon, you can now […]

Reporting Madness

Hello and happy holidays from the ShipCompliant team! We’ve been a little quiet as we prepare to help all of our winery and retailer partners prepare for the big storm of reports that come due in January. Wineries that ship to all of the possible states for direct shipping can owe over 500 reports each […]

Oregon Direct Shipper Permit Applications Available

On January 1, 2008 the legislation replacing Oregon’s reciprocity law with a permit system for the sale and shipment of wine directly from wineries will become effective. The new law requires wineries have a Direct Shipper Permit, pay an annual license fee of $50 and maintain a bond of at least $1000. Wineries with approved […]

Guidelines for Submitting New Hampshire’s Monthly Report via Email

The New Hampshire Liquor Commission has created a new e-mail account specifically for direct wine shippers. Wineries can send questions to directshippers@liquor.state.nh.us. The New Hampshire Liquor Commission also allows direct shippers, who have no shipments to report, to submit their monthly report via e-mail. Direct Shippers who choose to submit the report via email must […]

Doyle uses veto on Wisconsin budget bill

There was a flurry of activity this week in Wisconsin related to DTC shipping and self-distribution. You will recall that last month a host of onerous shipping provisions were included in the House version of the budget. These proposals would have repealed the existing reciprocal shipping statutes, replacing them with an entirely unworkable and exorbitantly […]

Wine Shipping Permit System Passes via Badger Budget Bill

Governor Jim Doyle is expected to sign into law Senate Bill 40, the Wisconsin Budget Bill that passed both chambers of the state congress on Tuesday. Within an amendment to the budget bill are provisions that would strike the existing reciprocal statutes for direct shipping and insert language that creates a permit system for wineries […]

Jim Barbuti joins as panelist in fourth Shipping Compliance Virtual Seminar

Don’t miss out on the fourth installment of our quarterly Shipping Compliance Virtual Seminar on Friday, October 26th sponsored by ShipCompliant and Wine Business Monthly. Panelists include: Steve Gross, Director of State Relations, Wine Institute James H. Barbuti, Liquor Commission Examiner – New Hampshire State Liquor Commission Jason Eckenroth, President, Six88 Solutions Jeff Carroll, VP […]

Indiana Clarifies Shipping Rules – Wine Institute Recommends Member Wineries Begin Shipments

The Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission, in response to a series of inquiries from Wine Institute’s Regional Counsel Nino Ciaravino and our local counsel John Keeler, today clarified their position with regard to an enforcement component of that state’s direct-to-consumer shipping statutes. Originally passed in March of 2006, Indiana’s DTC shipping statute contained provisions which […]

Is the retail to consumer shipping battle headed to the Supreme Court?

The issue of direct shipments by retailers to consumers has become a very hot topic of late. As of today, retailers can ship to less than half of the number of states to which producing wineries can ship. The Specialty Wine Retailers Association is fighting hard with both legislative efforts and litigation to open more […]

Wrong, but Not Surprising: A Loss in Extending Granholm to Shipments by Retailers

The recent decision in Arnold’s Wines, Inc. v. Boyle, Docket No. 06 Civ. 3357 (Southern District of NY, Sept. 9, 2007), which upholds New York’s requirement that retailers be located within the state to sell and ship to New York residents, illustrates the difficulty of separating dictum from holding in the Granholm case. (See the […]

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 […]

Illinois wine shipping bill signed by governor

Governor Blagojevich signed HB 429 yesterday, temporarily ending an extremely tough battle to pass wine shipping legislation in Illinois. The new laws will not take effect until June 1st, 2008. Illinois will move from a reciprocal state to a permit state for winery direct shipping and will also enable limited self distribution for wineries that […]

Ohio Direct Shipping Permits Available for Wineries Producing Under 150,000 Gallons Annually

As of October 1, 2007 only wineries producing up to 150,000 gallons annually with an approved S Permit issued by the Ohio Department of Commerce Division of Liquor Control and registered with the Ohio Department of Taxation may ship to Ohio consumers. Wineries producing 150,000 gallons or more annually are prohibited from shipping both on-site […]

Helpful Clarification Regarding Ohio’s New Shipping Statute Allows Some Wineries to Start Shipping

Wine Institute has received an initial clarification from the Ohio Division of Liquor Control that should allow some wineries to begin shipments to Ohio consumers. In addition to the restriction on the size of wineries (under 150,000 gallons) that can apply for a permit, there had been confusion surrounding the “family household” limit of 24 […]

Free the Grapes!: Ohio Wine Lovers to be Cut-off October 1

Free the Grapes! just pushed a press release about Ohio that condemns the new laws and calls for consumer action. Below are a few excerpts. A new law effective Monday, October 1 will prevent Ohio wine lovers from continuing to purchase wines directly from many popular mid-sized wineries, according to Free the Grapes! During the […]

Ohio to initiate permit system on Monday

Since July 19, 2005, wineries have enjoyed basically unrestricted access to Ohio consumers as the result of a judge declaring Ohio’s prohibition on direct shipping to be unconstitutional. That access will change significantly on Monday, when the Ohio Department of Commerce – Division of Liquor Control initiates the new permit system that was inserted into […]

Discrimination Against Out-Of-State Retailers After Granholm

Imminent revision of Illinois direct shipment law is producing much heated comment about retailer shipping rights, some trenchant and some off the mark, but all of significance beyond one state. Illinois House Bill 429, sent to the governor for signature on August 8th, conforms to the all but universally held belief that Granholm condemns treating […]

Connecticut Revises Consumer Aggregate Volume Limit Rule

The Connecticut Direct Shipping Law has been slightly altered. Wineries with an approved Out-Of-State Wine Shipper’s Permit will be able to ship up to 5 gallons (twenty-five 750 ml bottles) to a consumer every 2 months instead of every 60 days. The change becomes effective October 1, 2007 and should make it easier for wineries […]

Indiana and Oregon – starkly different paths to wine shipping laws

Wine Spectator Online has a good article that compares the different paths that Indiana and Oregon took in arriving at their new rules. It’s definitely worth a read. Here are some excerpts: Advocates of direct-to-consumer wine shipments recently scored two points in the win column: Oregon and Indiana. Both states now have more open direct-shipping […]

Virginia Out-of-State Winery Shipper's Application Checklist

The Shipper’s application is titled “Retail License Application Parts I and II” (rev. 06/2007). Please follow the steps below to ensure your application can be processed and approved in a timely manner. Applicants must have already completed the VA Sales Tax Application and received a VA sales tax number. RETAIL LICENSE APPLICATION – PART I […]

Parts of Indiana law declared unconstitutional. Can I ship there now?

Earlier this year, we discussed the “new vintage” of wine litigation that was taking place across the country. As background, since the 2005 Granholm decision, the wine wholesale lobby has recognized that they must pick their battles, and therefore concede the ability for wineries to ship directly to consumers in most states. Recognizing they would […]

New Missouri Law Takes Effect Today

Just a reminder… Effective today, August 28, 2007, Missouri is requiring all wineries to have an approved direct shipping permit. There is no fee and the application is only 1 page! Wineries must have the application notarized and provide copies of its current state alcoholic beverage license and a copy of its winery license from […]

Oregon to end reciprocity – permitted retailers and wineries can ship on January 1st

After January 1st, there may be only two reciprocal states left. Oregon HB 2171 was signed by the governor on July 31st and is now enrolled. As mentioned in a previous post, Oregon is all set up to become a limited/direct permit state for direct to consumer shipping. Previously a reciprocal state, only wineries from […]

Free the Grapes! Legislation and Litigation Update

From Jeremy Benson at Free the Grapes! : Free the Grapes! Media Update August 2007 Now that we’re at the end of most state legislative sessions, we thought it timely to provide an update on direct-to-consumer (DTC) wine direct shipping as of month-end July 2007. Here are some highlights, followed by a more detailed description. […]

Wine shipping bill in Illinois moves to Governor's desk

The long battle in Illinois is coming to an end (well, at least for now). The Illinois Senate passed HB 429 today by a vote of 49-5. Governor Blagojevich is expected to sign the bill. More details of the legislation can be found in a previous post. If signed, Illinois would move from a reciprocal […]

Ohio adopts restrictive permit system

On June 30th, Ohio Governor Ted Strickland signed the fiscal year 2008-09 budget bill. Similar to the current legislative maneuvering in Wisconsin, this was an unusual development to see wine shipping provisions inserted into a state budget bill. As we reported earlier, the law changes Ohio’s court ordered open status for shipping wines to a […]

Free the Grapes! Fate of Wine Direct Shipping in Wisconsin Rests with Conference Committee, Governor

From the Free the Grapes! press release: For 20 years, Wisconsin’s wine lovers have been able to purchase wine directly from wineries licensed to do so, as well as from in-state wine retailers. But consumers will lose these privileges if the Budget Bill passes as it is currently written, according to Free the Grapes!, the […]

Missouri Direct Wine Shipper Applications Available

The Governor of Missouri has signed SB 299 transitioning Missouri from a reciprocal state to a permit state. As of August 28, 2007 wineries will be required to have a Direct Wine Shipper’s Permit issued by the Missouri Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Control (ATC) and pay excise taxes in order to ship to MO […]

Missouri ATC Updates Direct Shipper Information

The Missouri ATC updated its website yesterday with its interpretation of SB 299. As noted in our previous post, SB 299 changes Missouri’s shipping status from a reciprocal shipping state to a limited/direct shipping state for wineries. After August 28th, there will remain only five winery reciprocal states (OR, NM, IA, IL, and WI). Oregon […]

Missouri to end reciprocity on August 28th

On July 13th, Missouri Governor Matt Blunt signed into law SB 299. SB 299 changes Missouri’s current status as a reciprocal shipping state to a limited/direct shipping state. Beginning August 28th, 2007, in-state and out-of-state wineries may obtain a Direct Shipper’s permit and ship up to 2 cases per month, up from the previous 2 […]

More Information about the West Virginia direct shipping application process

There have been questions from wineries about the application process in West Virginia. Hopefully, this post will help clarify the process. All wineries must apply for a Direct Shipper’s Permit and pay the $150 annual registration fee to the West Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control Administration. In addition all wineries must register with the Department of […]

North Dakota Updates Direct Shipping Forms

North Dakota has updated its Direct Shipping License Application and Alcohol Liquor Tax Report. Wineries are now required to file the direct shipping license application and renewal form electronically. The license must be renewed annually by January 1. Wineries that are unable to file the license application electronically may request permission to file paper reports […]

Live! ShipCompliant Users Conference 2007

We are streaming our users conference currently running in Napa, CA: Update: The morning session of the 2nd Annual ShipCompliant Users Conference is now over. Thank you to everyone that attended both on site and virtually. If you are interested in viewing the seminar at a later date, please drop us a line.

Proposed Wisconsin Budget Could Affect Direct Shipping and Self Distribution

The Wisconsin Senate amended and passed the proposed 2007-09 biennial budget bill to include a Direct Shipper’s Permit for wineries. As is, the amendment removes Wisconsin’s reciprocal language and allows permitted wineries to ship up to 27 liters per year directly to individual consumers. However, the bill would also restrict the amount of wine consumers […]

Oregon Legislation Ends Reciprocity

HB 2171 passed the Oregon Legislature just days prior to the end of the regular session. The new legislation removes reciprocal language from Oregon’s current wine shipping laws. In its place, HB 2171 creates a direct shipping permit system. In essence, the direct shipping permit will be available to all wineries and retailers who wish […]

Upcoming Compliance Events Summary

Wednesday and Thursday, June 27th and 28th: Wine Institute Member Workshops The workshops will include in-depth presentations on recent direct shipping and TTB and ABC rules and a discussion on maximizing tasting room and wine club opportunities. June 27, 2007 – Santa Cruz Mountains/SF Bay Area June 28, 2007 – Monterey County/Central Coast Friday, July […]

Buckeye Budget Bill Could Affect Direct Shipping

The Ohio Senate unanimously passed HB 119, which would move Ohio towards becoming compliant with Granholm. HB 119 creates a permit system for wineries seeking to ship directly to consumers in Ohio. As reported by the Dayton Daily News, the direct shipping provision was inserted by the Senate as an amendment to the proposed 2008-09 […]

West Virginia permit process details

West Virginia passed legislation to change from a reciprocal state to a permit state. All wineries will have to obtain a direct shipping permit and pay taxes. Corporations will also have to register with the West Virginia Secretary of State. The West Virginia Direct Shipper Application, instructions and tax forms are now available on the […]

Illinois Direct to Consumer Wine Shipping Bill One Step Closer

The Illinois House of Representatives passed Illinois HB 429, which allows direct to consumer shipping by out-of-state wineries, by a vote of 92-6 yesterday. If passed by the Senate and signed by Governor Rod Blagojevich, the bill will afford individual Illinois residents the opportunity to receive up to 12 cases of wine per year from […]

Why Can't I Have a Boston Wine Party?

The current lawsuit Family Winemakers of California v. Jenkins challenges an important aspect of the Massachusetts law regarding direct to consumer shipment of wine by out of state wineries. Recent articles have mentioned that the production limits adopted by Massachusetts act as a method of protecting in state wineries from interstate commerce and restrict the […]

Florida’s direct shipping website is back up

We previously reported that Florida took down their direct shipping website after warning that the “website will remain as a resource until the last day of Session, May 4, 2007.” Since they took the site down, the DBPR has not given any guidance on a change in policy even though the legislature did not pass […]

West Virginia posts new direct shipping guidelines

The West Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control Administration recently posted a “Direct Shippers Q&A” document on their website. Though somewhat helpful, the answers in the document are mostly a copy and paste from the new statutes. A few questions remain about some specifics on the permit process as well as the audit requirements. We will post […]

West Virginia Permit Applications Available

West Virginia will be the next state to move from the “reciprocal” category to the “limited-direct” category. Senate Bill 712 passed on March 10th and was signed by the Governor on April 4th. The bill states that it will take effect ninety days from passage, which is June 8th, 2007. However, wineries will likely have […]

Direct-to-Consumer Shipping — Not Quite the Green Light for Every State

Appellation America released a great article about direct shipping as we celebrate the second anniversary of the Granholm v. Heald ruling. The article was actually written by Eleanor and Ray Heald, the couple that originally sued the state of Michigan to overturn their discriminatory direct shipping laws. The appeal made it all the way to […]

New Hampshire Updates Direct Shipper Permit Application

The New Hampshire State Liquor Commission has updated their Direct Shipper Permit Application. Changes to the application consist of updating the NH Liquor Commission Bureau of Enforcement mailing address and making changes to the letterhead. The updated application has a shield in the upper left-hand corner and contact information for Chief Eddie Edwards below. The […]

Deadline extended for Illinois House bill

Illinois House Bill 429, which would move Illinois from a reciprocal state to a limited direct state for winery direct shipping, did not see a vote by the May 10th deadline, but the deadline for third reading and final action was extended until May 18th. The bill would create a permit system, establish a 12 […]

Florida removes direct shipping website

Florida removed their direct shipping website late Friday night or early Saturday morning. However, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation has given no official notice of any change in policy. Stay tuned for any developments. Below is an archive of the direct shipping site that was removed by Florida: ————————– Department of Business and […]

Florida update: No legislation will pass by the deadline, no word from DBPR

As an update to our previous post about Florida, no legislation will pass in the current session, which ends today. At this time, there has been no word from the Department of Business and Professional Regulation about whether they will continue to allow shipping under the current rules. It seems that nobody knows exactly what […]

North Dakota passes updated limited direct bill

Governor John Hoeven signed Senate Bill 2135 (mentioned previously here) this month and the new rules will go into effect on August 1st, 2007. SB 2135 updates the previous direct shipping rules to increase the monthly quantity limits for wineries and retailers to 7.13 gallons (27 liters or 3 standard 9 liter cases) per month […]

Florida may revoke wine shipping access on May 5th

At least three bills that address wine direct shipping are pending in the Florida legislature in the current session. Senate Bill 126 (Saunders) and Senate Bill 2282 (Geller) both include restrictive “capacity caps” that would prohibit any winery that produces more than 250,000 gallons per year from shipping directly to Florida residents. House Bill 1217 […]

Free The Grapes! legislative update

Free the Grapes! recently provided an update on direct to consumer shipping legislation and litigation for 2007. As you can see below, many changes are likely to come this year. LEGISLATIVE UPDATE Wine Institute provided the following summary of direct shipping legislation around the country. Alaska –House Bill 34 (Ledoux) would specifically allow in-state wineries […]

Tea Leaves & One Fact

Some historians say the origin of foretelling the future from tea leaves is an ancient Greek practice of reading wine sediment patterns in the drinking vessels. Wine-related or not, the lawyer’s pastime of seeking clues to future judicial decisions from what judges say during oral argument is about equally reliable. Nonetheless, it’s difficult to resist […]

Direct shipping bill passes West Virginia Congress

In May of 2005, in the case of Granholm v. Heald, the United States Supreme Court effectively invalidated the practice of reciprocity because it discriminates against wineries in non-reciprocal states. At that time, there were 13 reciprocity states. Today, there are only seven reciprocity states left (Oregon, New Mexico, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, Illinois, and West […]

Free the Grapes! Updates Wine Industry Code for Direct Shipping Practices

Free the Grapes! recently updated its Wine Industry Code for Direct Shipping. The Code is a voluntary set of guidelines for direct to consumer wine shipments. The new Code, listed below, is fully endorsed by Wine Institute, Family Winemakers of California, and WineAmerica. Wine Industry Code for Direct Shipping Out-of-state licensees may direct ship wine […]

North Dakota sales tax clarification

There have been some recent questions regarding North Dakota sales tax requirements. Wineries shipping directly to consumers in North Dakota are required to pay the 7% State retail alcohol tax. Additionally, Wineries have the option of deciding whether or not to collect local ND city & county taxes. However, if a winery collects local taxes […]

To Which States Should You Ship Direct?

After showing off beta versions of this tool at several trade shows in January, the ShipCompliant team officially released its latest tool today to help wineries make the most of the direct channel. The State Shipping Break Even Calculator does just that – it tells you how many bottles of your wine it takes to […]

Compliance Events Summary – March 2007

Monday, March 5th, 2007 – Direct Shipping Compliance Seminar Virtual Seminar hosted by ShipCompliant, FedEx and Wine Business Monthly 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm PST Attend from your computer (with a phone and an internet connection) Tuesday, March 6th, 2007 – Navigating Direct Shipping Part of Oregon Wine Industry Symposium (Mon. – Wed.) 10:30 am […]

Kentucky posts permit instructions

Kentucky recently posted instructions for obtaining a Kentucky out-of-state small farm winery license. There are ten steps (actually eight steps – they skipped steps 6 and 8!) that a winery that produces less than 50,000 gallons can follow to receive a license to ship directly to consumers. STEP 1. KRS 243.360 requires you to first […]

Thank You to Our Readers

As you might have noticed by the logo on the sidebar of this page over the last week, we have been nominated as a finalist for the first edition of the American Wine Blog Awards in the category of Best Single Subject Wine Blog. We are very honored by this distinction and we thank the […]

Prorated fees in Honolulu

Most of our readers know that Hawaii started enforcing its direct wine shipment permit law on January 1, 2007 and moved into the “blue” category on the state-by-state direct shipping map. There are 4 counties in Hawaii and each county requires wineries to complete its own permit application and pay a fee. The annual permit […]

Bourbon County, KY – Wet, Dry, or Moist?

We’re getting word that Kentucky will soon make public the requirements for out-of-state wineries to get a small farm winery license for shipping wine directly to consumers. Regardless of the difficulty of the process that Kentucky unveils, wineries will surely face a challenge in keeping track of the 53 dry and 16 “moist” counties in […]

Washington Excise Tax Confusion

We’ve had number of questions recently from wineries that are confused about the excise tax requirements in Washington. Apparently, the Washington LCB is now just outright rejecting winery submissions if they do not use the correct form. To provide a little background on this issue, Washington adopted a limited direct model on July 1st, 2006. […]

News from Kentucky

The headline said, “State drops out of wine suit: Small operators can ship directly,” but the reported change in direct shipment rights occurred in December of last year. What’s new is that the state has abandoned its appeal, leaving the wholesaler trade association to continue alone in attempting to persuade the Court of Appeals to […]

"New Vintage" of Wine Litigation

There’s an excellent article on law.com titled “New Vintage of Wine Litigation is Fermenting”. The article summarizes the “next wave” of wine lawsuits that will continue to shake up the landscape of direct shipping. New suits and amended complaints filed in the past year are attacking requirements that consumers must purchase wine in person, with […]

Compliance Events Summary – January 2007

Thursday, January 18th – Making Sense of Direct Shipping Laws Part of Tasting Room Profitability (Wed. & Thurs.) 8:30 am – 10:00 am Marin Center, San Rafael, CA Tuesday, January 23rd – Selling Your Wines Direct to the Consumer Part of Unified Wine and Grape Symposium (Tues. – Fri.) 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm Sacramento […]

Tips for Completing the Hawaii Tax Applications

As of January 1, 2007 Hawaii is officially operating under the permit law for direct wine shipments. This means that wineries can no longer ship under the reciprocity law and must have an approved direct shipper permit for each county. However, wineries must have a General Excise Tax License (similar to sales tax) and a […]

2007 Hawaii Permits Available

Hawaii recently made available the new permit forms for shipping directly to consumers. Even though Hawaii passed a new limited-direct model that technically went into effect on July 1st, 2006, most wineries continued to ship under the previous reciprocity rules because Hawaii did not give clear guidance on how to get permits and report under […]

Results from Federal District Court in Kentucky

It was pretty good, though it could have been better. Yesterday, Judge Charles R. Simpson III reaffirmed his analysis of last August in the Cherry Hill case, finding that on-site only requirements in the direct shipment law effective on January 1 are unenforceable because they unduly burden interstate commerce relative to in-state direct shipments. The […]

Kentucky Court Opinion and Judgment Posted

The US District Court in Kentucky ruled yesterday on the lawsuit filed by Cherry Hill Vineyards, challenging provisions in Kentucky’s recent direct shipping legislation. Here are links to the court’s opinion [Huber Memorandum Opinion.pdf (324 KB)] and judgment [Huber Order and Judgment.pdf (239 KB)]. An excerpt from the opinion: The court has evaluated the new […]

Terroir II: Another Word Soon from the Court that Decided All Wines Aren’t Alike

A new ruling is expected before the end of the year in the Granholm-based lawsuit that challenges the states’ and wholesalers’ “on-site only” strategy for resisting direct shipment. That line of defense argues it’s equal treatment to restrict all wineries, near and far, to the same limitation of in-person orders (which seems true in the […]

Important ruling in Kentucky expected by year-end

U.S. District Judge Charles R. Simpson III is expected to give a very important important ruling in Kentucky by the end of the year, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal. The ruling will help decide the fate of the Kentucky law that was set to take effect on January 1st. The new law would allow for […]

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays from the Six88 Crew – Barclay, Bev, Elizabeth, James, Jason, Jeff, Kim, Laurent, Marc, Mike, Pete. Not pictured – Bob, Sarah, Rajiv, Richard, Steve. (taken from the rooftop of our office in Boulder, CO)

Additional information regarding Pennsylvania’s Limited Winery Permit

Important caveat on Pennsylvania in particular and “Notes on Wine Distribution” in General. The recent development posted on 12/14 regarding direct shipment to Pennsylvania residents in that the state, is that the Liquor Control Board, which has known since November 2005 that it lost the Cutner case and therefore may not prohibit direct shipment from […]

Wine Distribution Notes, v12

R. Corbin Houchins released version 12 of his Notes on Wine Distribution, with an important development for shipments to consumers in Pennsylvania. Click here to read the new release Update: Please see the post above for more information on PA. Also note the definition of a “limited winery”.

Costco appeal on fast track

The case is moving along very rapidly, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals having taken the initiative in a November 30, 2006 order by designating the appeal as expedited and setting a very prompt date for argument (March 2007). The defendants’ motion before the Court of Appeals for an indefinite stay was denied, but can […]

Wine Distribution Notes, v11.2

R. Corbin Houchins, Beverage Industry Counsel, just released version 11.2 of his Notes on Wine Distribution. This is a great resource and recommended reading for all that are interested in wine direct shipping. The first sentence of each release describes this resource well: These notes, now in their thirteenth year, are intended to serve discussion […]

Sales tax rate decrease in North Carolina

From the North Carolina DOR notice The North Carolina General Assembly enacted legislation that reduces the general State rate of sales and use tax from 4.5% to 4.25% effective December 1, 2006 and from 4.25% to 4% effective July 1, 2007. Therefore, effective December 1, 2007 2006 the general State rate of sales and use […]

Compliance Q/A in Kennewick, WA – 11/28

Welcome to the (brief) second installment of shipping compliance events summary! These events are great opportunities to hear from experts on legislative changes to the rules, best practices for staying compliant and growing your market, special offers on shipping and other related services, and introductions to technology solutions. November 28th – Washington Wine Industry Summit […]

The second wave of the Granholm tsunami

Two states now have court cases that illustrate the second wave of the Granholm tsunami. Explicit discrimination in favor of local wineries relative to out-of-state wineries is, in theory at least, already washed away. We now see another crest on the horizon, aspiring to wipe out de facto discrimination –where the formal text of the […]

Compliance Events Summary

Welcome to the first installment of shipping compliance events summary! These events are great opportunities to hear from experts on legislative changes to the rules, best practices for staying compliant and growing your market, special offers on shipping and other related services, and introductions to technology solutions. November 8th – Wine Institute Sonoma County Member […]

FedEx begins shipping to Vermont

From their wine landing page: FedEx Express and FedEx Ground expands wine shipping services to accept legal wine shipments to consumers into, out of, and within Vermont. The effective date is November 1, 2006. For those shipping wine to VT consumers, please note changes on State Pairing Guide. Vermont’s consumer direct legislation actually went into […]

More on Georgia sales tax

A few weeks ago, Annie mentioned that wineries shipping directly to Georgia that do not otherwise have a nexus in Georgia are not required to collect sales tax. We have had a number of questions about this issue, mostly related to the fact that different people have received different answers to this question in the […]

Lawsuit filed in Tennessee

Add Tennessee to the list of at least nine states that have ongoing direct to consumer litigation. A “wine enthusiast” recently filed a lawsuit in Tennessee to challenge the laws prohibiting the direct shipment of wine to consumers. Tennessee currently is a felony state that allows for a one gallon federal onsite provision, but otherwise […]

Interview with Jeremy Benson from Free the Grapes! – Part 1

Below is the transcript from the first part of an email interview with Jeremy Benson, Executive Director of Free the Grapes! Q: Can you start with some background on Free the Grapes! and its mission? Free the Grapes! was founded in 1998 as a result of the wholesaler’s success in making Florida a felony state […]

Clarifications on Direct Shipping Laws

The enforcement and interpretation of various state laws for Direct-to-Consumer wine shipments continue to evolve. Following are three recent updates that wineries should be aware of. Connecticut: Wineries of any size are eligible to apply for an Out-of- State Shippers Permit in CT. The cost of the permit is $250 and there is a $100 […]

Virtual wineries taken to court

Last week the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control took three “virtual” wineries to court stating that they violated the provisions of their licenses by pouring wine for consumers at a wine festival. So called virtual wineries typically hold two licenses in combination, a type 17 which is a wholesale license and a type 20, […]

New COLA form available

TTB published a new Certificate of Label Approval or Exemption (COLA) form in June of this year and is now requiring that all applicants use this new form. According to Customer Service Staff at the TTB Labeling and Formulation Division in Washington, D.C, they will reject all applications submitted on the old form that were […]

Clarification on the South Carolina application process

There has been some confusion about the application process for wineries shipping direct-to-consumers in South Carolina. The correct forms to complete are listed below and can also be found at http://wi.shipcompliant.com/StateDetail.aspx?StateID=39. Wineries must complete the following steps to legally ship wine directly to consumers in South Carolina: 1. Complete the Out-of-State Wine Shipper’s License (Form […]

More on the Family Winemakers lawsuit

Tom Wark from Fermentation posted a lengthy comment in response to Doug Caskey’s thoughts on the Family Winemakers lawsuit. This was another great response, so I wanted to post it to make sure everyone reads it. Doug: First, anyone accusing you of being a traitor to the wine industry simply doesn’t know you or doesn’t […]

Idaho increases sales tax rates

From the Idaho Tax Commission memo: The Idaho Legislature passed a new law increasing the sales and use tax rate to 6% as of October 1, 2006. Be sure to update the rates in your order management system(s) if you haven’t done so already.

Terroir in Court

For the first time in post-Granholm legal maneuvering, a court has recognized the geographic distinctiveness of wine as a factor in applying the “level playing field” requirement. Kentucky is one of about eight states that responded to Granholm by authorizing only on-site sales. The argument by the wholesalers and their allies in favor of that […]

TSA eases liquids ban, but wine bottles are still prohibited

TSA announced today an ease on their ban on liquids, but don’t expect to carry on a couple bottles of your favorite Cabernet any time soon. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced today it is adjusting its total ban on liquids, gels and aerosols effective Tuesday, September 26. There are two significant changes: Travelers will […]

A response to the Family Winemakers lawsuit

Doug Caskey, from the Colorado Wine Industry Development Board, responded to our post about the lawsuit in Massachusetts with a lengthy comment. I wanted to republish it in a new post because it is well worth reading. At the risk of sounding like a traitor to the cause of wine, free trade and the American […]

Arizona permit available, FedEx begins shipping

The new wine shipping laws took effect yesterday in Arizona. Arizona has posted the Application for Out-of-State Domestic Farm Winery or Domestic Microbrewery on their website. Currently, only wineries that produce less than 20,000 gallons per year can ship directly to Arizona residents. Wineries that produce more than 20,000 gallons must “Provide the names and […]

Kentucky appeals court ruling

The State of Kentucky yesterday appealed the court ruling in August that struck down the interstate shipping ban in Kentucky. The State disagreed with the court’s finding that the in-person requirement for purchasing wine is unconstitutional. Thanks to the folks at Stoll Keenon Ogden for the tip and the insight. Their article was used a […]

Family Winemakers sues Massachusetts over capacity cap

In the previous post, we mention that a group sued Arizona over the discriminatory nature of their 20,000 gallon capacity cap. Now, the Family Winemakers of California, a group representing over 740 small and medium sized wineries, is suing the State of Massachusetts for the same reason. Paul Kronenberg, President of Family Winemakers, said the […]

New offsite rules take effect in Arizona on September 21st

As we mentioned in June, the new laws for shipping into Arizona are scheduled to take effect on September 21st. However, the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control has not made available the forms or processes necessary for obtaining a permit and is not expected to until at least September 21st. Once the forms […]

Kentucky court strikes down interstate shipping ban

A US District Judge in Kentucky struck down the current regulations that allow only Kentucky wineries to ship to Kentucky consumers. Bill Nelson has the full scoop in the WineAmerica News Brief and at their state issues website. As expected, the judge found the discriminatory nature of the Kentucky statutes to be unconstitutional and in […]

Brian Williams Scolded By SWRA

The intense response from the wine industry to the WSWA’s study last Thursday continues. This time, the target is Brian Williams and the crew from NBC news who ran an out of context fluff piece Wednesday night featuring the soon to be released study (Click here to view the newscast – PC only). The Specialty […]

Free the Grapes responds to WSWA

Free the Grapes put out a quick response to the WSWA survey noted below. Here are a few excerpts The wine wholesaler cartel today trotted out a tired argument already dismissed by the U.S. Supreme Court, the Federal Trade Commission, and state alcohol regulators. The intent of the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America’s “survey” […]

TSA Prohibits Carry-On Liquids (including wine)

In light of recent disrupted terrorist plots to detonate liquid explosives in commercial airlines, the Transportation Security Administration is implementing the following security procedures effective immediately: NO LIQUIDS OR GELS OF ANY KIND WILL BE PERMITTED IN CARRY-ON BAGGAGE. ITEMS MUST BE IN CHECKED BAGGAGE. This includes all beverages, shampoo, suntan lotion, creams, tooth paste, […]

WSWA To Release New Underage "Research"

Update #1: View NBC segment Tomorrow the WSWA will release a research survey conducted by TRU (Teenage Research Unlimited): “confirming that millions of teenagers have ordered alcohol online, or have a friend who has ordered online. The survey provides hard evidence about teenagers’ online activity, their purchases of alcohol, their awareness of the ability to […]

FedEx begins shipping to Kansas

Following up on Annie’s post below, FedEx is now approved to ship to Kansas for onsite shipments and began shipping yesterday. They posted the change on the state pairing chart on their wine website.

Kansas’ Limited Direct-to-Consumer Shipping Law

Governor Kathleen Sebelius on May 23, 2006 signed a direct to consumer (DTC) shipping bill in Kansas that gives us only half of what we were seeking. This was an extremely hard-fought battle in a state that had previously banned all DTC shipments. Unfortunately, the success Chuck McGrigg and our local lobbyists had in passing […]

Confusion about Indiana

We have had a number of people ask about the direct shipping status in Indiana. Most will say something like “Indiana is now available for direct shipping”. Well, not really. Technically, Indiana passed House Bill 1016 in March, allowing for direct shipping. However, there are severe restrictions that effectively make Indiana prohibited. Wineries can theoretically […]

Compliance Seminar Wrap Up

We held our first annual users conference and direct shipping compliance seminar on Friday, July 14th. A big thank you to Steve, Pam, Jim, Brent and Jeff for speaking at the event and bringing terrific value to the attendees. We ran a few surveys prior to and after the seminar. Click here to see more […]

An Exchange on Central Warehousing

A reader reports a recent email from the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) that begins, “[Y]our statement that [central warehousing] is not directly prohibited by law is not correct. There are several statutes that provide the basis for this prohibition.” That assertion could as well have been directed to me, as in a previous posting […]

Costco-Granholm battle lines forming in Ohio

Ohio wineries selling to state residents operate under a mandatory 33.3% markup system, whether distributing directly or through a wholesaler. Under past law, wineries outside the state could not sell to Ohio consumers at all. To comply with Granholm, the state accepted a consent decree permitting consumers to purchase directly from out-of-state wineries, beginning in […]

ShipCompliant Users Conference & Compliance Seminar – July 14

Six88 Solutions is presenting a direct shipping compliance seminar in conjunction with its first annual ShipCompliant users conference. Due to generous sponsorship from FedEx and ChoicePoint, this event is now open to non-customers and is free of charge. The seminar will focus on the realities of enforcement and feature speakers such as Steve Gross (Wine […]

Washington direct shipping requirements

Permit Required: If a WA state winery has a Domestic Winery permit, nothing additional is required. If an out-of-state winery holds a Wine Certificate of Approval, only a no-fee endorsement is required. If an out-of-state winery does not hold a COA, a Wine Shipper Permit (for shipping to consumers only). Fee: $100 license fee + […]

Colorado permit process

Colorado’s new legislation effecting wine shipments will become effective July 1, 2006. The new permit application is available on Wine Institute’s direct shipping website here. Wineries that have been shipping to Colorado under the reciprocity law DO NOT have to complete a new application. The annual renewal fee for applications will remain $50.00. Wineries must […]

Update on Idaho Direct Shipper's Permit Application process

Wineries can begin applying for Idaho direct shipping permits. Wineries must complete the Idaho Business Registration Form and the Idaho Beer and Wine Tax Application (BWA). Both forms should be submitted to the Idaho Tax Commission with a $1000 Bond, a Certified Copy of the Winery’s License (In California it is the Type 02 License) […]

New laws take effect in four states on July 1st

Hello again, back in the swing of things after a nice two week break. We’ve seen some big developments in the world of wine direct shipping over the last two weeks that we’ll look at in more detail over the next few weeks. July 1st is a huge day for direct shippers as new laws […]

Dropping the Second Shoe

Recent lawsuits in California, following the preliminary consent decree in Texas, bring home the second major implication of Granholm. The Supreme Court opinion of May 2005 told us that a state may not allow its own wineries to sell directly to consumers if it excludes out-of-state wineries. Its first implication �that states allowing their own […]

Sinking the Playing Field

Recent reports that state ABC stores in Virginia are running low on Virginia wines illustrate an interesting ripple effect of the direct shipment litigation. (See http://www.roanoke.com/business/wb/wb/xp-68853.) By now nearly everyone has gotten the message that Granholm is neutral on freeing trade in wine, requiring only that states apply economically equivalent conditions to in-state and out-of-state […]

Newspaper sets up sting in Minnesota

The St. Paul Pioneer press on Monday reported a series of underage stings that the newspaper “Watchdog” group set up in the state of Minnesota. As you recall, Minnesota recently lifted their ban on Internet wine sales. The details of what exactly happened in the five different stings are a little vague in this article, […]

Idaho permit instructions posted

Idaho released instructions for getting permitted for direct shipment on Thursday. The document can be found in Word format on the Wine Institute site here. Three different permits are actually required before wineries can ship. 1) Wine tax permit from the Idaho State Tax Commission: To get the tax permit, first fill out the updated […]

Napolitano signs Arizona wine shipping bill

On Thursday, Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano signed into law SB 1276, opening Arizona for limited direct shipping and self distribution. As we mentioned below, this will establish a capacity cap for offsite sales of 20,000 gallons (roughly 8,400 cases). Onsite sales will continue to be allowed with a per customer volume limit of 2 cases […]

Rethinking Demon Rum

Several observers have noted the generational nature of Granholm�s 5-4 split in the Supreme Court. Roughly, the judges divide between those do not remember the advents of Prohibition and Repeal, but have witnessed the growing acceptance of table wines, particularly relatively costly wines from the burgeoning small producer sector; the dissenters recall vividly the lawlessness […]

"Domestic farm winery" bill passes Arizona legislature

Senate Bill 1276 passed the Arizona state House last week and now awaits Governor Janet Napolitano’s signature. SB 1276 would continue to allow for the direct shipment of orders where “the wine was purchased while the purchaser was physically present at the winery”. The bill would also allow for off-site orders, but with serious restrictions. […]

Preliminary injunction in Texas is a temporary truce

The recent preliminary injunction entered by agreement in Wine Country Gift Baskets.com v. Steen is only a temporary truce. Both sides are reportedly preparing for a contest over the final judgment, while the delivery companies and potential retailer-shippers attempt to figure out what the requirement that shipments be by �a carrier permitted by Texas Alc. […]

Wine Institute direct shipping portal updates

The Wine Institute direct shipping portal was updated last night with the first of many changes to come over the summer. After launching a new look and feel for their home page, they are now turning their attention to the direct shipping portal. Frames were removed from the direct shipping portal as a first step, […]

Kansas to allow direct shipment of on-site orders

Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius signed Senate Bill No. 297 last week, making it legal for in-state and out-of-state wineries to ship wine directly to Kansas consumers provided that “the consumer must purchase the wine while physically present on the premises of the wine manufacturer”. The new laws go into effect on July 1st. The legislation […]

Connecticut permit fee clarification

The direct wine shipping permit application process in Connecticut just became a littler clearer thanks to their new forms. The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection Liquor Division has put all of the forms needed to obtain an Out-of-State Shipper�s Permit on their website. The same forms are linked to Wine Institute�s Direct Shipping website. There […]

Vermont opens for direct wine shipment

We love to see a purple state turn blue! Vermont officially moved from a prohibited state to a limited direct state on Thursday when Governor Jim Douglas signed into law S.58. In-state and out-of-state wineries can now apply for a $300 direct shipping license and ship up to 12 cases annually to Vermont consumers. Wineries […]

FedEx Express and FedEx Ground policy for return of wine shipments

FedEx Express and FedEx Ground have clarified their policy for the return of direct-to-consumer wine shipments. Because FedEx policy only allows for approved licensees to ship wine, it has been understood and interpreted that individual consumers as recipients of a wine shipment are prohibited from returning such a shipment to the sender. However, return shipments […]

Washington Liquor Control Board to appeal Costco ruling

The Washington State Liquor Control Board announced yesterday it will appeal the ruling issued by Judge Marsha Pechman. The state will likely file its appeal in the next few weeks and will claim that the 21st Amendment should trump the Sherman Antitrust Act. In other words, the state should have the right to create monopolies, […]

The broader effects of Costco

I. Discrimination against Direct Distribution from Outside the State There seems little doubt that Costco�s reading of Granholm will survive appeal. Nothing appeared in the Costco record to distinguish direct shipment of beer and wine to retailers from direct shipment of wine to consumers. Most states with wine industries allow local wineries some form of […]

R. Corbin Houchins

We are very happy to announce that R. Corbin Houchins from the Beverage Practice Group of Graham and Dunn is joining us as a blog author. Our goal is to continuously add value to the readers of this blog by providing insight and analysis in the world of wine shipping compliance. Mr. Houchins is certainly […]

Where is Jim Barbuti?

Effective today, Jim Barbuti of the State of New Hampshire Liquor Commission has a new mailing address. This new address should be used to send your monthly reports as well as any correspndence to Mr. Barbuti. Mailing Address State of New Hampshire Liquor Commission Bureau of Enforcement Attn: Direct Shipping PO Box 1795 Concord NH […]

HB 247 passes Florida House

As you recall, Florida is currently open for wine direct shipping under the honor system. In the meantime, the Florida House and Senate are busy hashing out the details of what will become the permanent legislation in the Sunshine State. HB 247 passed the Florida House Wednesday and now awaits the Senate. This bill would […]

Costco ruling – Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law

We added the Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law from the Costco v. Hoen case to our Document Library. Here are a few key passages from the document (emphasis added) The Sherman Act reflects a strong federal policy in favor of competition. At the same time, the Twenty-first Amendment provides each state with broad […]

Landmark ruling in Costco vs. Hoen

On Friday, Judge Marsha Pechman released Findings of Fact and Conclusion in the case of Costco v. Hoen. In a landmark ruling for the future of the three tier system, the Court found that the Washington state-mandated wholesaler monopoly was not shielded by the 21st Amendment and was in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act. […]

Summary of changing states

Wow, there have been a lot of changes to direct shipping laws this year and we are not even at the six month mark! Many reciprocal and prohibited states are becoming permit states. This is good news for wineries and consumers, but it is hard to keep track of all the changes. There are several […]

Colorado bill signed by Governor Owens

Effective on July 1st, 2006, Colorado will officially move from a reciprocal state to a limited-direct state. See the file in the ShipCompliant Document Library for the full details of House Bill 1120, which will establish a permit system for in-state and out-of-state wineries. Governor Bill Owens signed the bill on Thursday. Colorado was previously […]

Maryland to allow self-distribution

Maryland Governor Robert Ehrlich is expected to sign into law a bill that would allow in-state and out-of-state wineries to sell directly to retailers. Senate Bill 812 would allow any licensed U.S. winery that produces less than 27,500 gallons to self distribute to Maryland restaurants and retailers. This bill does not improve the situation in […]

The role of retailers

Pending court cases in Washington and Texas will set precedent throughout the country for determining the role of retailers in the world of wine shipping. Before digging in, let’s start with a terminology summary: Direct Shipment: The direct shipment of wine from wineries (suppliers) to end consumers. Wineries may ship via common carrier (UPS and […]

Legislation update

There has been a flurry of wine legislation activity around the country recently… Indiana: House Bill 1016 was approved by the Indiana House and Senate and awaits signature from the governor. This is one of the stranger bills out there to say the least. It allows for limited direct shipments from both in-state and out-of-state […]

Great News from the State of Minnesota

Minnesota has lifted their ban on internet wine sales and advertisements. A Consent Order was entered on April 3, 2006, in the case of Kimberly Crockett, et al vs. Michael Campion, Commissioner of Minnesota Department of Public Safety, et al, wherein it was declared that the plaintiff and other wineries have the right under the […]

Colorado bill sent to Governor

Colorado House Bill 1120 passed the House and is now in the hands of Governor Owens. The bill would remove reciprocity language and create a limited direct model with equal access from all states. Colorado consumers will no longer be required to make an initial onsite visit to a licensed winery before making offsite purchases. […]

Court cases left and right

We’ve seen a lot of activity over the past two weeks in the court room that will have some big impacts on the direct shipping landscape. We’re going to take a look at recent activity in Washington, Texas, Minnesota, and Maryland in the next few days.

Application forms to direct ship wine to Michigan are now available!

Michigan�s direct shipping application process appears to be very straightforward (at least compared to other forms I have read through recently). Wineries who wish to ship wine directly to Michigan consumers must complete the Michigan Liquor Control Commission�s (MLCC) Direct Shipper Application, pay the $100 permit fee and register with the Michigan Department of Treasury. […]

Annie Bones

We’re pleased to announce that our friend Annie Bones is joining us as a contributing blogger. Annie is the State Relations Coordinator for the Wine Institute and her first post is coming shortly…

New York reciprocal shipping privileges and quantity limits

As if keeping track of over 7,500 direct shipping rules wasn’t hard enough already! Let’s start with a little background on the issue of New York reciprocal privileges. Even though they published their advisory in August of 2005 (after the Granholm decision), the New York regulations included the following language about reciprocity. The newly enacted […]

Washington opens for non-reciprocal states

Governor Chris Gregoire signed into law a bill that will allow all out of state wineries to ship to directly to Washington consumers. Previously, Washington had reciprocity arrangements with 13 states. The new regulations will make it more difficult for those 13 states because they will be required to obtain a direct shipping permit and […]

Idaho removes reciprocity

Idaho officially removed its reciprocity language in House Bill No. 454, establishing itself as a limited direct state. Idaho joins California and Washington as reciprocal states that moved to a limited direct model to comply with Granholm. Other reciprocal states are likely soon to follow, including Colorado and Hawaii. With the new legislation, which goes […]

Indiana bill passes House and Senate, awaits Governor's signature

A legislative compromise in Indiana passed the House on Monday and the Senate on Tuesday and now heads to the Governor for final approval and signature. The Senate approved the legislation only after the group of 9 wineries that sued the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission agreed to drop their lawsuit. Although it is fantastic […]

Dry Counties in Florida

We’ve received a number or inquiries about the dry counties in Florida. Starting with a little background… In the new Wine Shipment into Florida page, you will find the following text: Dry Counties Pursuant to Section 568.02, Florida Statutes, it is unlawful to sell alcoholic beverages containing more than 6.243 percent of alcohol by volume […]

Setback in Maine

The Legal and Veterans Affairs Committee of Maine voted 8-2 against a proposal to allow direct shipments via a permit system. A fight is expected on the House floor. Read more here, especially the Reader Comments section at the bottom of the article. Here are a few choice quotes: As a Mainer who loves wine, […]

Hawaii moves to end reciprocity

Two similar bills would create a limited direct model in Hawaii, which currently has reciprocity with 13 other states. The proposals are similar to the laws established in New York, Connecticut, and Texas with a permit requirement and a per customer limit of 24 cases per individual per year. Read more here.

Kentucky bill passes Senate, would prohibit direct shipments

Senate Bill 82, which prohibits direct shipments in Kentucky, passed the state Senate and now moves to the House. Winery owners claim that this bill would kill the Kentucky wine industry. A second bill in Kentucy that would allow small wineries to ship directly to retailers remains in House committee. This article has some very […]

Compromise in Illinois passes Senate vote, moves to House

Winery and beer distributor groups reached a compromise in the drawn out battle in Illinois. Senate Bill 2180 passed the Senate vote unanimously,and now moves to a House vote. The compromise would allow the nearly 200 Illinois wineries to sell wine at the winery as well as at two additional retail locations in the state. […]

Costco case will challenge the three-tier system

From the Washington Times: The potentially most important challenge to the three-tier system comes from neither consumers nor wineries. It instead is being issued by a corporate entity with the political muscle to match the wholesale lobby — the biggest wine retailer of all, Costco Wholesale Corp. This article is worth reading.

Colorado bill moves forward

Colorado House Bill 1120 passed the Senate Agriculture, Natural Resources and Livestock Committee unanimously. Based on the Wine Institute model legislation, the proposed bill would create a limited direct permit system that would allow interstate shipments into and out of Colorado. Colorado currently is considered a reciprocal state and must change its laws to comply […]

FedEx and UPS begin shipping to Florida today

FedEx and UPS were both approved to ship to Florida beginning today. The second biggest wine market is officially open for direct shipments!

'Honor System' in Florida

Wineries shipping to Florida are currently on the ‘honor system’ until permanent legislation is passed. A bill was introduced recently that would establish a permit system, excise tax, and sales tax. Read more here.

Indiana wineries reach compromise… but Senator kills wine bill

Shortly after a compromise was reached in Indiana that would allow direct shipments with a 24 case per year limit per individual and a 1,000 case limit per winery, Senate President Pro Tempore Robert D. Garton sent the bill to the Senate Rules Committee, which is considered a “graveyard for legislation”. Instead of helping to […]

FedEx to allow Florida shipping March 1st

FedEx’s legal team reacted quite quickly this time and announced today that they will begin shipping wine to Florida as early as March 1st (next Wednesday). What a great market to finally be open to great wines!

Flip-flop by Rendell gives hope to wineries

Earlier we noted that Pennsylvania Governor Rendell opposed direct wine shipments because they would increase the chance that minors receive alcohol. After taking a lot of heat for that “colossal lie”, Rendell changed his tune and is now saying that it’s all about state revenue. “The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, which manages the state’s 640 […]

Rendell opposes direct shipments

Pennsylvania Governor Rendell wants to “maintain the state system” where consumers that order out of state wine must pick them up at a state-controlled liquor store. In this system, consumers must pay an 18 % state tax, a 6% sales tax, and a $4.50 handling fee. The governor’s office claims that this is necessary to […]

MA Congress overrides Romney veto, court challenge likely

The Massachusetts House and Senate overrode a veto by Governor Milt Romney , writing into law a bill that will allow small farm wineries that produce less than 30,00 gallons per year to ship directly to consumers. It also allows residents to take home bottles of wine purchased at restaurants if the restaurant re-corks the […]

Competing bills in Kentucky

Two competing bills are alive in Kentucky, but neither are very favorable for wineries. One that made it out of state House committee would only allow onsite sales for small farm wineries. The second made it through the state Senate and would force all wineries to use wholesalers. Read more here.

Florida officially opens

In a letter to the Wine Institute yesterday, Simone Marstiller, Secretary of Florida�s Department of Business and Professional Regulation, announced that out-of-state wineries can officially make wine shipments into the state of Florida. In August, a U.S. District Court Judge ruled in the case of Bainbridge, et al. v. Turner that Florida’s wine shipping laws […]

Small farm winery bill passes Arizona Senate committee

Three wine shipping bills were proposed in Arizona, and one made it out of the Senate committee. This bill would allow small farm wineries that produce less then 50,000 gallons each year to make offsite shipments of wine to Arizona consumers. The Arizona distributors, of course, are pulling out all the stops to prohibit direct […]

Maine in play

A new bill would open up shipments to Maine, which is currently a Prohibited state. See the story here.

Wyoming close to compliance

A Wyoming bill unanimously passed the House Corporations, Elections and Political Subdivisions Committee that would bring Wyoming to compliance with Granholm. Wyoming is currently a limited direct states that allows licensed out-of-state wineries to ship up to two cases per year directly to consumers. However, in-state wineries are treated differently. The new legislation effectively applies […]

FedEx approved to ship wine to New York

The State of New York Division of Alcoholic Beverage yesterday officially approved FedEx to make wine shipments directly to New York consumers. Carriers approved to ship to New York are required to “capture and maintain specific information, including a signature and the New York Out-of-State Direct Shipper�s license number of out-of-state wineries.” Both FedEx and […]

South Dakota bill killed in committee

House Bill 1187 would have allowed for limited direct shipments to consumers in South Dakota, but was shot down by the House Commerce Committee, with heavy oposition from the three-tier lobby.

Idaho to uncork wine shipping legislation

Add Idaho to the long list of states that are currently revisiting their wine direct shipping legislation. The proposed legislation is being pushed by the Wine Institute and would create a limited direct model with a $50 permit and a customer aggregate volume limit of 24 cases per year.

Maryland comptroller blocks self-distribution

From the Baltimore Business Journal: Maryland wineries will be prevented from directly selling their wines to retail stores and restaurants starting March 31, according to an administrative ruling the state’s comptroller’s office issued earlier this month.

Illinois wineries fight back

With the help of the press, wineries in Illiinois turn the tables on the powerful Associated Beer Distributors of Illinois.

Florida moves one step closer

Pending legislation in Florida would create a limited direct model for shipping wine directly to consumers where out-of-state wineries would need to obtain a $100 permit and pay the appropriate taxes.

"Vino Limbo" in Pennsylvania

Paul Nussbaum of the Philadelphia Inquirer gives good insight into the “wine-law chaos” in PA.

Kansas to open?

We noted earlier that Kansas was revisiting their laws and leaning towards prohibition. However, a new bill sent to the Senate would open up direct shipments to retailers and consumers, as long as the consumers pick up the wine at a licensed liquor store. Lawmakers in Kansas are keeping a close eye on the Costco […]

FedEx announces wine shipping website

FedEx recently unveiled its new wine shipping website. You can view the site by going to http://fedex.com/us/wine/ . On this site you will find some good information about the FedEx wine shipping policies and requirements. There is also a state pairing guide showing the states to which FedEx ships for direct to consumer offsite, onsite, […]

Colorado bill passes House Finance Committee

In their effort to become compliant with the Granholm decision, Colorado introduced a limited direct bill that would ease restrictions on shipping wine. Currently, consumers in Colorado can not make offsite purchases from wineries unless they have visited that winery in the past. The new legislation would remove this previous visit requirement.

Kansas revisits wine shipping laws

A pending bill in the Kansas Legislature would prohibit the direct shipment of wine to consumers altogether. Currently, Kansas in-state wineries can sell directly to consumers, but out-of-state wineries are required to use the three-tier system. This uneven treatment was deemed unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court in May 2005. As a result of the […]

Romney introduces new bill

After vetoing a bill passed by the Massachusetts House and Senate in January, Governer Milt Romney introduced his own bill that would allow for “unrestricted wine sales” while providing mechansims for preventing the sale of wine to minors.

Proposed legislation in Illinois would limit off-site sales

Following up on our previous post, small wineries are once again crying foul in Illinois over legislation introduced by the Illinois distributor lobby. The bill would require an initial on-site purchase before off-site sales can be made and would establish a customer aggregate volume limit of two cases per year. Illinois wineries are taking issue […]

Let the wine flow in Illinois

Editorial from the Chicago Tribune: If lawmakers are going to get back in the wine game, they should promote competition and protect consumers from unnecessary middlemen and their markups. Otherwise, stay out.

Ohio opponents "just want to protect their monopolies"

Here’s a good update on the legislation process in Ohio from Mark Fisher.

Indiana wholesalers attempt to buy the vote

The Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of Indiana Political Action Committee gave over $180,000 between 2000 and 2004 to Indiana politicians and candidates. The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette explains why there is no wonder that favorable legislation was introduced there. It is no secret that the wine wholesalers and distributors wield tremendous power in every state. […]

IBG Announces REThink Wine Trade

Inertia Beverage Group announced today a new program called REThink Wine Trade. The program would give restaurants a means to place wholesale orders directly with producers. This is an interesting concept. “Direct to the trade” compliance will certainly be a challenge for IBG. However, this once again gets back to the theme discussed by FTC […]

Wine shipping fight begins in Illinois

Sound familiar? The Associated Beer Distributors of Illinois are pushing for a bill in Illinois that would prohibit direct shipments. Illinois wineries are crying foul and pushing their own counter-legislation. This will be interesting to watch as Chicago is a large wine market.

Proposal from Virginia wineries might not make it out of committee

From the Richmond Times-Dispatch: The House ABC and Gaming subcommittee voted 4-1 to recommend that the General Laws Committee kill a bill that would preserve the right of small Virginia wineries to distribute their products to restaurants and stores.

Costco case could set precedent for Arizona

Interesting editorial explaining why Arizona is watching the Costco case in Washington closely.

Delaware lawyer and Pennsylvania winery sue over wine law

A federal lawsuit seeks to ease the direct shipping restrictions in Delaware. Currently, Delaware prohibits out of state wineries from shipping directly to consumers.

New California laws take effect today

California officially moves to a limited direct model for interstate wine shipping today. Out-of-state wineries will be required to obtain a Type 82 permit from the California ABC for $10 annually and a Certificate of Use Tax from the California Board of Equalization.

Costco wins key ruling in Washington

From the Seattle Post-Intelligencer: “A federal judge said in two separate rulings Wednesday that Washington’s system for distributing beer and wine violates the Constitution and the Sherman Act.” We will keep a close eye on this case as it will likely have a big impact on wine shipping in Washington and other states as well. […]

Granholm signs Michigan direct shipping bill into law

Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm signed into law the direct shipping bill passed by the state House. The bill allows in-state and out-of-state wineries to ship up to 1,500 cases per year to Michigan residents. Click here to see the final legislation.

Opposing legislation to be introduced in Indiana next month

When the Indiana General Assembly reconvenes next month, at least two bills will be introduced that address the issue of wine direct shipping. As is usually the case, one bill would allow direct shipments from both in-state and out-of-state wineries and one bill would prohibit direct shipments.

New York approves UPS for interstate shipping

After a long delay, New York finally approved UPS for interstate shipments. Permitted out-of-state wineries can now ship into New York via UPS. FedEx is expected to be approved soon as well. To see a complete listing of UPS allowed states for direct, onsite, and licensee to licensee shipments, you can visit the UPS Wine […]

Michigan House votes to allow the direct shipment of wine

The Detroit News reports: The state House on Tuesday voted 104-0 to approve legislation that would allow in-state and out-of-state wineries to ship up to 1,500 cases of wine a year directly to consumers. Direct shipment by out-of-state wineries had been banned under a state law ruled unconstitutional earlier this year by the U.S. Supreme […]

State liquor board suggesting wine shipment bill

The state of Washington considers moving to a Limited Direct model.

Massachusetts Governor vetoes wine bill

MA Governor Romney vetoed a bill passed by the House and Senate, calling it anti-consumer. “This bill does not give wine lovers the opportunity to purchase the bottlings they want”, he said “It creates artificial barriers to protect Massachusetts wholesalers at the expense of a free market.”

Indiana (and Kentucky) wine law challenged

Nine Indiana wineries push the courts to allow in-state shipments of wine. Add Kentucky and Indiana to the list of states that will revisit their legislation in 2006.

Pennsylvania judge strikes down out-of-state wine sales law

From law.com: “A federal judge has struck down a Pennsylvania law that prohibits out-of-state wineries from making direct sales to Pennsylvania consumers, hotels and restaurants after rejecting an argument that the law’s constitutional defect could be cured by extending the prohibition to in-state wineries.”

Federal Trade Commission speech shows support for direct shipping

In a speech by Commissioner Jon Leibowitz titled Competition in the Information Society Uncorked and Unplugged, Leibowitz provides some great insight into interstate wine laws. I would encourage you to read this speech in its entirety, but here are a few choice passages: the Internet is crucial to consumers. Barriers to e-commerce – whether erected […]

Federal judge allows out of state shipments in Michigan

Michigan wine lovers won a big victory Tuesday when a federal judge in Detroit ruled that out-of-state wineries can ship directly to Michigan consumers — a privilege once accorded only to Michigan producers.

Ohio House considers easing restrictions on wine shipping

State Rep. Jon Husted, R-Kettering and other Ohio legislators are leaning towards a less restrictive shipping system. I like this passage from Mark Fisher of Uncorked and the Dayton Daily News: Earth to rabble-rousers: teen-agers looking to score alcohol are not going to get online, order a case of fine cabernet sauvignon from a boutique […]

Oklahoma wine producers push for direct shipments

A group of Oklahoma wine producers are pushing for a change in state law that will allow them to ship their product directly to consumers. Direct shipments are currently prohibited in Oklahoma, but this is one of at least 20 states that will likely revisit their direct shipping laws this year.

Group seeks to overturn Minnesota Internet sales ban

A lawsuit by the Institute for Justice, a libertarian public-interest group, seeks to overturn the ban on direct Internet sales in Minnesota. Currently, Minnesota allows direct to consumer sales for onsite orders as well as offsite orders that are taken via telephone, mail, or fax only.

Compromise in Michigan

Michigan wineries and the Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association may be close to a compromise in the Senate that would allow limited direct shipping of wine by out of state wineries. The Michigan House passed HB 4959, which would “allow limited wine shipments by Michigan and out-of-state wineries to individual Michigan consumers but would […]

Granholm v. Heald

On May 16th, 2005, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a landmark decision in the case of Granholm, Governor of Michigan, Et Al, v. Heald Et. Al.. We will discuss this case at length in this blog, but let’s start with the basics. You can see the official Supreme Court decision here, but […]

Welcome

Welcome to the Wine Direct Shipping Compliance weblog. As you all know, the laws surrounding shipping wine directly to consumers are very complicated. On top of that, they change constantly. We created this blog to help you understand and stay on top of these “rules”. We encourage you to provide feedback and participate often.