Wednesday, October 31, 2007

No More Wine by Mail

Effective Monday, October 1 (2007), a new Ohio state law goes into effect that bans direct wine shipments from wineries that produce over 150,000 gallons of wine a year (about 63,000 cases). All of Ohio's more than 100 wineries fall into this category.

The provision, supported by Ohio's powerful Wholesale Beer and Wine Association, was attached to the state budget without a public debate. In my opinion, it's a huge step backwards for Ohio wineries attemping to compete with their California and Pacific Northwest counterparts.

It's also a loss for consumers who will have to pay the wine wholesaler's up to 33% mark-up rather than buying directly from the winery. (Of course, you can still buy from the winery in person.)

The Cleveland Plain Dealer this morning quoted Donniella Winchell, executive directory of the Ohio Wine Producers Association, as saying the ban will be good for Ohio's wine industry, allowing it to grow. Personally, I don't see that artificially protecting the smallest growers will help the industry or wine consumers.

Do you have an opinion? Leave a comment below.

(photo credit: istockphoto)

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