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Thursday, March 09, 2006

Ind. Law - More on: Wine shipping resolution not dead?

Updating this ILB entry from this morning, apparently it is the pretrial fees bill, HB 1016, that may be gutted to include new wine shipping language.

Whether that language will be beneficial to Indian's wineries, however, is still up in the air. Here is some information from a release the ILB has just received:

"We are still disappointed in the direction the legislation is moving," said Larry Satek of Satek Winery in Fremont, who is president of the Indiana Winegrowers Guild. "Consumers should know that if this legislation passes, their freedom of choice will be compromised. Our version of the bill also does not criminalize consumers for minor violations.”

"House Bill 1016, if passed, will not only limit consumer choice, but also prevent me from growing my winery business," said Bill Oliver of Oliver Winery in Bloomington. "Our version of the bill allows responsible, law abiding consumers to buy the wine they want versus what the wine wholesalers will let them buy.”

“We think it is important for Indiana to help existing businesses, notably small businesses," said Dr. Charles Thomas of Chateau Thomas Winery in Plainfield. "Our version of the bill allows small businesses such as mine to prosper, gives consumers choice, and ensures minors are protected.”

No proposed conference committee report has yet been filed to HB 1016, so the ILB cannot direct you to a copy of the language. Here, however, is a copy of information about the proposal prepared by the wineries group.

[More] Here is a story from yesterday's Madison Courier that may be at least partially outdated by now. A quote:

The “poison pill provision” says that if an exception to the three-tier system is deemed unconstitutional or invalid, then the state will limit rather than expand exceptions to the method. Simply put, if the state determines a winery or brewery is not following the three-tier system, then it will enhance the three-tier-system, and make regulations barring wineries from selling their products without the use of a wholesaler. The provision also could apply to wine tasting rooms in wineries.

If the provision passes, small wineries would be affected because wine tasting rooms would not fall within the parameters of the three-tier system.

According to Linda Jackson, a publicist for Indiana wineries, the “poison pill provision” would kill small Indiana wineries.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on March 9, 2006 04:52 PM
Posted to Indiana Law