Free the Grapes!

Winemakers, how can you get involved and help the cause? Review the following Checklist for Active Winery Supporters. It’ll show you what can be done today to support all three prongs of our industry’s campaign: PR, legislation and litigation.

In advance, thank you for investing in the ability of your consumers to purchase the wines they want, in the manner of their choosing.

  1. Fundraising
    We need your commitment to an annual contribution so that we can focus on getting results rather than raising money. As you know, funding for Free the Grapes! goes exclusively to funding the PR and consumer outreach campaign that supports the overall effort.Donation Schedule:

Total Case Production

Total Qtrly

5,000 Cases or less

$300

5,001 to 25,000 Cases

  600

25,001 to 50,000 Cases

1,200

50,001 or more Cases

3,000


In addition to consumer outreach and litigation, we hope you also recognize the importance of legislation. We urge you, therefore, to continue supporting (through your membership dues) our colleagues who are working on the legislative front: WineAmerica, Wine Institute, and Family Winemakers of California.

  1. Send Free the Grapes! Your Consumer Database
    We have more than 300,000 consumer supporters on our mailing list,  but we need to build it for all states, especially with emails. Please send Free the Grapes! your consumer mail list; it will remain confidential and will only be used for direct shipping mailings. We accept disks with data in Access, Excel or comma delimited formats.
  2. Become a State Champion
    Volunteer to adopt a state and become its champion. We need winery champions for every state. It might be your home state, where you went to school or where you have an active consumer base. As a champion, you maintain consumer enthusiasm and education for our cause; we provide the tools. When it comes time to rally the troops, you will contact them and encourage them to be active.
  3. Become an Appellation Champion
    Volunteer to rally fellow vintners in your appellation around our cause.
  4. Register in the Legal States
    Wineries now have the option to ship directly to many more states. Please take advantage of these new opportunities! Many non-legal states are looking at how well the permit process is working as a solution; if wineries aren’t participating, they are not as motivated to enact positive legislation. The forms and information can be downloaded directly from www.wineinstitute.org, or by calling Wine Institute’s State Relations at (415) 356-7530.
  5. Follow the Wine Industry Code of Direct Shipping Practices
    Many groups including the Napa Valley Vintners, Wine Institute, WineAmerica, Family Winemakers of California and Coalition for Free Trade endorsed the Code. Fine-tune your direct shipping procedures by reviewing the Code and sharing this information with your club and tasting room manager.
  6. Link Your Website to Freethegrapes.org
    Provide a link on your website to our website so that consumers can sign up. Click here to learn how. Our website is in the top percentiles of the most linked-to websites on the Internet, thanks to wineries, retailers and other supporters. An educated consumer is our best ally.
  7. Write a Letter to FedEx and UPS.
    Forward a letter to your FedEx and UPS sales representatives asking them to carry wines to all the newly legal states. In some instances, even though state laws have changed, the common carriers have not added legal states to their list of approved shipping states. Contact us for a sample letter. View a list of who ships where by visiting www.wineinstitute.org.
  8. Place a Wine Institute Petition Book in Your Tasting Room
    Petition books are free to Wine Institute members, $20 to non-members. Call Wine Institute’s State Relations department at (415) 356-7530 to order.
  9. Sign-up for the Free the Grapes! Email Newsletter.
    Stay informed! Sign-up and we’ll send you periodic updates of news.