Be Heard! Free the Grapes Mississippi: Tell Legislators It is Time for Legal Winery Direct Shipping

Free the Grapes!, a national coalition of wineries and wine lovers, is calling on Mississippi wine lovers to write their state legislators NOW in support of removing protectionist laws and improving consumer choice in wine.

Mississippi is one of only 5 states with an archaic ban on winery-to-consumer direct shipments. But there is a glimmer of hope. Two bills (Senate Bill 2682 and House Bill 708) have been referred to committees. Both would allow direct shipments from US wineries and retailers licensed by the state to ship directly to adult consumers in Mississippi. Time is of the essence to contact members and the Chairman of each committee asking them to bring the bill up.

But the time is now, Mississippi wine lovers, said Jeremy Benson, executive director of Free the Grapes! We dont have a minute to lose because if the bills do not get voted out of committee on Tuesday, February 5, then the opportunity may be lost for another year. Tell your state legislators now that you want access to the wines you want.

By Monday, February 4, Mississippi residents may visit to learn more about the issue and find instructions on contacting state legislators.

Direct to consumer wine sales fill in the gaps where the traditional three tier channel “ shipments from winery to wholesaler to retailer “ does not adequately meet consumer demand for wine. There are almost 10,000 U.S. wineries producing at least 80,000 individual labels annually, all vying for the attention of a consolidating wholesaler tier: the top 10 wholesalers control 73% of wine and spirits sales, according to Shankens IMPACT newsletter (April 2018). Ninety-eight percent of wine is sold through the three tier channel, an effective and efficient system to distribute wines at volume. However, wholesalers are simply unable to carry every wine that consumers want.

About Free the Grapes!

Founded in 1998, Free the Grapes! is a national movement of consumers and wineries seeking to expand consumer choice in wine with legal, regulated direct shipments.

Sarah Jones Gillihan, Benson Marketing Group, 707.254.1114, [email protected]
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