Nothing Changes and WWI is Prepared to Push Back
This past week some of our members may have seen news articles covering a recent DTC wine shipping proposal that is coming from a non-profit group called the Uniform Law Commission (ULC). Below is an update on this work by our colleagues at WineAmerica, who work every day to watch our back within the halls of Congress as well as anything political or regulatory that impacts American wineries. If you are not a WineAmerica member yet, we strongly encourage you to join and help strengthen their efforts in Washington D.C. As stated well below, the work done in tracking this issue, removing the worst parts of the proposal if adopted, and now preparing to defend DTC in our state capital (and all 47 state capitals where winery DTC shipping is allowed) is an excellent example of the value you receive as a WWI member as well as being part of WineAmerica. Make no mistake, as we have done many times in the past, we WILL be ready if any attempts are made to threaten our DTC wine shipping privileges during the 2023 legislative session and beyond.
The Uniform Law Commission is a non-profit group of lawyers from around the country who draft and develop laws for state legislatures to adopt. The idea is that standardized laws are better for states in order to avoid confusion. Approximately three years ago they started looking into DTC shipping of beer and spirits, but that morphed to looking primarily at existing wine DTC laws. This was done without any real input from the wine industry. We must stress that this is only a model law. It does not change any state laws regarding DTC shipping as it has not been introduced in any state legislature. However, the ULC does recommend that states should adopt this legislation.
We must stress that this is merely a proposal that was approved by the ULC. No state laws have changed, but we need to be vigilant as an industry to make sure that our hard won DTC rights are not rolled back. This is a great example of the value of winery trade associations on both state and national levels, as well as the value of WineAmerica.