Your right to receive the wine of your choice directly from
the winery is being seriously threatened.
As advocates for entrepreneurs, innovation, small business
growth and the free markets that allow our clients to prosper, we oppose
pending legislation being driven by mega wholesalers and distributors of wine
that would limit small wineries’ ability to sell to a national audience. Today, there is Congressional support for a
bill, known as H.R. 1161 — the Community Alcohol Regulatory Effectiveness
(CARE) Act — which would allow states to dismantle consumers’ rights to
purchase wine directly from wineries.
If passed into law, H.R. 1161 would eliminate the
constitutional protections of the Commerce Clause and allow states to discriminate
against out-of-state wine producers. Under the bill, states would be free
to mandate that wine be sold only through wholesalers. It is worth noting that
wholesalers carry wines from only 17 percent of U.S. wineries, and certainly not the small,
boutique wineries we are surrounded by in Northern California, Oregon and
In addition to increasing prices and limiting selection,
particularly for small boutique wines, this bill would put limitations on a
growth industry that provides 1.1 million jobs nationwide, contributes $162
billion to the U.S. economy, pays $33 billion in wages and contributes $17
billion in state and federal taxes annually.
If you care about free trade, economic growth, a consumer’s
right to choose, and your right to order wine directly from wineries, we
encourage you to speak up in opposition to this pending legislation and write
to your congressional representatives.
What you can do:
- Write to your Congresspeople. It is
important that members of Congress from all across the country hear from
consumers as to why H.R. 1161 is bad for them.
- Visit Free the Grapes
to learn more about H.R. 1161 and send
an automated letter right now. Free the Grapes is a consumer group, which
was originally started by the Napa Valley Vintners to advocate on behalf of
consumers and to reduce shipping regulation for wine.
- Forward this to people you know
who love wine and ask them to write to their congressional representatives.
your comments on Facebook. You may add your comments to the
hundreds already posted on the STOP H.R. 1161 Facebook site. http://www.facebook.com/stophr1161?ref=nf
Silicon Valley Bank's Wine Division publishes
Liquid Assets as a quarterly column featuring visionary winemakers and
wineries. As the leading provider of financial services to wineries and
vineyards in the western United States, we are using our unique
perspective to help our readers further understand winemaking and the
innovative vintners who create some of the world's premium wines.
Valley Bank is not selling, marketing or distributing wine or
wine-related products. Through its SVBwines.com Web site, Silicon Valley
Bank provides information to clients, employees and other parties and
refers those users to wineries and other wine industry service
providers. These communications are for informational purposes. Silicon
Valley Bank is not responsible for (or a participant in) the sales of
any of the wineries' products in any fashion or manner, and makes no
representations that any promotion or sales of alcoholic beverages will
or will not be conducted in a lawful manner. Further, Silicon Valley
Bank disclaims any responsibility or warranty for any products sold by
wineries or other wine industry service providers.