Interstate Wine Sales From Retailers Could be In Trouble


As previously noted on, numerous states are pressuring shipping companies to crack down on direct-to-consumer wine shipments that travel across state lines. While in its seminal case Granhom v. Heald the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states could not discriminate against out-of-state wineries attempting to ship wine to consumers in a state, the Granholm ruling applied specifically to wineries (and not retailers). As W. Blake Gray reports for Wine-Searcher, this has endangered the future of some interstate wine shipments:

"For retail stores that live by shipping wines, these are tough times, despite the booming wine market.

Amazon's threatened entry into the local wine market is one challenge. Another is that, while wine industry folks talk about how the direct-sales market is opening, the opposite is actually happening...

Last week, I attended a rosy presentation by Wine Institute president and CEO Bobby Koch. He showed a slide that read, in part: 'Wine Institute is responsible for the 44 states that allow DTC wine shipping.' To be clear, he's talking about wineries, not retail shops, shipping directly to consumers...

Legal pressure [to limit interstate shipments from retailers] on the common carriers FedEx and UPS has been applied by state legislators. It's worth noting that big wine and spirits distributors, who strongly oppose direct shipping of any kind, are among the largest contributors to the political campaigns of state legislators."

The whole article can be found here.