Free the Grapes! October 2019 Winery Update

DTC Wine Symposium: Jan 22-23, 2020
Hilton Concord Hotel Concord, CA

The national summit on DTC sales and marketing – and the primary fundraiser for Free the Grapes! – returns this January.  Registration is now open.

Workshops, Town Halls and Sponsor Sessions will offer practical solutions to common challenges and opportunities, such as club member retention, effective digital marketing, generational marketing, and how to leverage 3-tier to help DTC sales. These useful sessions are complemented by thought-provoking keynote speakers. And it’s the year’s best DTC networking event.

Read the Program pages for updated topics and speakers.

Since 95% of 2019 survey respondents recommend the conference, and the last three events sold out, why wait? Before December 13, save $50 on a registration ($650) and an additional $25 on multiple registrations from your company ($625), the most popular option.

Legislative Updates

Most of the state legislative sessions have adjourned for the year, but here are select updates.

Ohio:  We continue to generate local press coverage and build our consumer base in hopes of supporting future bills that would allow DTC shipments by wineries producing more than 250,000 gallons per year. The same copy we use for New Jersey (see below) can be tailored for Ohio; in both states we are trying to overcome a “capacity cap.”  Please include the following link in your consumer newsletters: https://freethegrapes.org/alert/winery-ohio/

New Jersey:  As previously reported, two favorable bills would overturn the 250,000 gallon capacity cap.  We anticipate that the bills will get a hearing and vote after New Jersey completes its statewide election in November. But don’t wait! Please use copy from our website: https://freethegrapes.org/alert/winery-new-jersey/ in your consumer e-newsletters and social media. We need local consumers to voice their support to state legislators!   

You can read a story we placed here, entitled, “Still time for NJ to end wine-shipping ban for consumers”

Michigan: Senate Bill 320 would remove the bond requirement for DTC license holders. It is now in the House after passing the Senate on September 4.

Delaware:  As previously reported, Senate Bill 49 will carryover to 2020. The bill was introduced March 19, 2019 and heard in committee May 15, 2019 but without a vote. A potential change in the committee’s composition could help us next year.  DE is one of the remaining five states with an all-out ban on winery DTC.

Iowa: House Bill 779 was signed by the Governor May 3 and removes the 200-transaction threshold requiring wineries to collect and report sales taxes. It leaves the $100K threshold intact.