I wanted to take a break from my Virginia trip recap and applaud the mid-year results of Free the Grapes!, the national consumer-winery grassroots coalition that supports legal, regulated direct shipping, summarized results so far in 2009:
- Wins: Legislators in Tennessee, Kansas and Maine created winery direct shipping permits, increasing the number of active, legal states to 37, which represent 83% of U.S. wine consumption
- Defense: Florida’s legislature held back the fourth consecutive attempt to impose a capacity cap that would have banned shipments, but only from medium and large wineries
- Momentum: Maryland saw unprecedented local support for two direct shipping bills that ultimately died in committee, but consumers continue to send letters to their representatives. And New Jersey’s legislature is still considering a pro-shipping bill.
“2009 is shaping up to be a vintage year for the wine consumer, rivaling landmark years like 2005 and 2003,” said Jeremy Benson, executive director of Free the Grapes! To read the complete release, click here.