I think this article today may be good news for VA vineyards. If this new legislation passes, it will once again allow VA vineyards and, other vineyards from anywhere, to self-distribute up to 3000 cases of wine per year in VA. The part for out-of-state vineyards has to do with the Commerce clause and laws affecting interstate commerce that can be and are struck down due to the fact that they are often found to be unconstitutional. Disparate treatment of similarly situated businesses…..etc. I could give you a whole lecture on Con Law, but really, it’s not all that interesting!
My one concern is that one of the sponsoring lawmakers states that the purpose is to allow VA wineries a break until they become large enough to need and afford the services of a wine distributor. I would have to see the proposed legislation to look at the wording, but I wonder what size that would be? And then, what of the new wineries that have developed? Is it until all are big enough or what specifically would be the conditions triggering the end of the ability to self-distribute?
It’s a big step in the right direction for the lawmakers to realize that banning self-distribution is not a great way to help a young industry develop. I’ll continue watching this to see how it develops. Let’s hope it passes without issue. Thanks to Cellar Blog for pointing out the article.