Updated: March 15, 2021
Dear Tennessee Wine Lovers:
Legislation has been introduced that will limit your choice in wine. These bills surreptitiously eliminate your ability to purchase and receive wines directly from your favorite wineries.
House Bill 742 by Rep. William Lamberth and Senate Bill 705, by Sen. Page Walley, would limit Tennessee residents to direct shipments sent ONLY FROM THE VINEYARD and not through what are called fulfillment houses. Fulfillment houses are widely used by wineries to warehouse wine, pick and pack shipments, and then arrange for shipment using common carriers like UPS and Tennessee’s own FedEx. They are an important part of the supply chain.
House Bill 742 was heard in the House Departments & Agencies Subcommittee and passed on a voice vote, March 2. There were a wide range of errors and misinformation in the testimony.
The update today is that there are positive negotiations proceeding to create a state-issued license for fulfillment houses.
But let’s not stop letting state legislators know how you feel about these two bills!
- Write Your Legislator: Take two minutes to use this page to personalize our sample message to your state legislators. See below. If you’ve already sent letters, it’s ok to send another.
- Forward this Message to Your Friends and Colleagues: Legislators really do listen to consumers and we need wine lovers to speak up.
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If the use of fulfillment houses is outlawed, most direct-to-consumer wine shipments to and within Tennessee from small and medium size wineries would stop because it would be too difficult, time consuming and expensive for most wineries to do their own warehousing and staff a shipping department. Fulfillment centers ensure choice by giving you access to hundreds of small, family-owned wineries across the country and handle an estimated 60% to 90%+ of all wine shipped directly to Tennessee residents.
We worked hard to bring legal, regulated winery direct shipping to Tennessee wine lovers over a decade ago. Let’s not let the opponents take that away.
Free the Grapes!