As previously reported, legislation was introduced that would have surreptitiously eliminated a Tennessee consumer's ability to purchase and receive wines directly from a favorite winery. House Bill 742 would have limited 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.
Wine Institute, a public policy association of California wineries and related businesses, reported on May 13 that workable legislation has been signed by the Governor, avoiding the effects of HB 742.
The following statement is from Wine Institute:
“The Tennessee legislature has passed and the Governor has signed a bill that requires licensing and reporting by fulfillment houses and reporting of DTC shipment information by wineries. The bill(s), as originally filed, would have banned the use of fulfillment houses for DTC wine sales. Wine Institute worked with stakeholders and the ABC to craft a compromise that will allow the continued use of fulfillment houses for DTC. The reporting requirements are quarterly and require the usual information on recipients, volumes, and carrier tracking numbers. Fulfillment house licensing and reporting in addition to winery reporting will be required after Jan. 1, 2022. Until then, wineries may continue to operate their businesses as usual including the use of fulfillment houses. After Jan. 1, 2022, only fulfillment houses licensed in Tennessee may be used.”