Indiana's Unique "Winery Lockout" Law

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Indiana is one of many states that permits wineries to ship their wine directly to consumers, but there's a big caveat: You have to choose between direct wine shipments or working with a wholesaler. As the Wine Industry Advisor points out, this puts Hoosier State wineries in a tough position:

"While Indiana is one of 44 states that allow legal direct to consumer shipments from wineries, the Hoosier State stands out from the other 43 states in one important and anti-competitive way: Indiana is the only state that prohibits wineries from carrying both a legal direct shipping license and a relationship with a wholesaler. The wholesaler-winery relationship is an important one as it is the only way a winery can sell their wines to Indiana’s restaurants and liquor stores.

Presented with an “either/or” dilemma, wineries must elect to either sell their wines through wholesaler middlemen, or directly to consumers, but not both. Regardless of how a winery chooses to sell their wine in the state, in the end, it is Indiana’s wine lovers who are the ultimate losers..."

Read the rest here.