FREE THE GRAPES!!! Stop H.R. 5034:

FREE THE GRAPES!!! We Need Your Help – Stop H.R. 5034:Free the Grapes

As most of you know, South Coast Winery rarely gets involved in talking politics – that is, until something as important as H.R. 5034 comes along and threatens your rights to receive and enjoy your favorite South Coast Winery wines in the comfort of your homes.

Last week we included an article in our eNewsletter that has generated so much feedback from our readers, we immediately knew we had to give you more information to empower you to make an informed decision and help us STOP this special–interest legislation.

Wine Institute states, "H.R. 5034, initiated and promoted by the National Beer Wholesalers Association and supported by the Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America, seeks to allow wholesalers to pass anti–competitive, discriminatory state laws dealing with wine, beer and spirits. Wine Institute strongly opposes this ill–conceived effort to give wholesalers the ability to create and perpetuate an environment of discrimination and inequality."

In summary, if H.R. 5034 were to pass, it would:

•Allow wholesalers to pass discriminatory state laws eliminating licensed, regulated direct-to-consumer wine shipments
•Give wholesalers unfettered monopoly on distribution
•Make state alcohol laws immune from federal antitrust laws and “any other act of Congress”
•Establish that state alcohol laws override all federal laws
•Undermine federal authority over pricing, taxation, product formulation, advertising, labeling, and product safety
•Increase prices and limit consumer choice

Q: Who wins if H.R. 5034 were to pass?

A: Hands down, the beer and wine wholesalers associations would be the only winners here. Among other impacts, H.R. 5034 would likely restrict or eliminate out–of–state winery direct shipping, so you lose your ability to buy wine directly from your favorite winery or merchant at a fair price while more money gets added to the wholesaler middlemen’s pockets.

Q: Who loses if H.R. 5034 were to pass?


A: You and America’s 6,700 wineries, which are predominantly small, family–owned and struggling to find wholesaler representation. In addition, it would harm your state’s brewers and distillers, as well as businesses, jobs, and state and local economies

Q: Why all the hype?


A: Proponents of the bill continue to sign up co-sponsors, and are up to 106: almost exactly one-quarter of the 435 members of the House. And from what we’ve learned from our elected representatives and from the reporting that the media has done, this is a long–term effort by the wholesalers and we're only seeing the first salvo. Most of you know how deep the wholesalers' pockets run which is why we need you to act now to oppose H.R. 5034.

Q: What can I do?


A: Send a letter to Congress opposing H.R. 5034 with a simple click of the "FREE THE GRAPES" button.

 

Q: What’s the bottom line?


A: To quote one wine blogger, Tom Wark, "H.R. 5034 is anti–free trade, anti–consumer, special interest legislation of the worst sort. It is a job killer that will diminish the vibrancy of the American wine industry, dissuade entrepreneurs from getting in to the wine industry, and stifle competition. Winery–to–consumer shipments are valued at $1 billion annually and comprise 1% of U.S. wine production, according to a new study by ShipCompliant and Wines & Vines magazine. Direct to consumer shipments are critical to the survival of America’s 6,700 wineries, which are predominantly small, family–owned and struggling to find wholesaler representation. Direct to consumer shipments are critical to your state’s economy: U.S. wineries generate 1.1 million jobs in America and attract 27 million visitors each year to wine regions in all 50 states."

Q: Why me?

A: If you or someone you know enjoys purchasing a wines at a fair price from your favorite winery or merchant and then having it delivered to the comfort of your home, we’re asking you to stop what you’re doing and get involved. H.R. 5034 could end your ability to buy wine directly from your favorite winery or merchant and it would put more money in the wholesaler middlemen’s pockets. In addition, it would harm your state’s wineries, brewers and distillers, as well as businesses, jobs, and state and local economies.

Q: What Can Wine Lovers Do?

Contact Congress today with a touch of a button. Click here now!


Q: Still not convinced?

Here are some additional documents to help keep you informed on H.R. 5034:

View H.R. 5034 here (PDF)
The Real Facts About H.R. 5034 (PDF)
Myth vs. Fact on H.R. 5034 (PDF)
Wine Institute/WineAmerica Letter of Opposition to H.R. 5034 (PDF)
Wine, Beer and Spirits Joint Letter of Opposition to H.R. 5034 (PDF)
Washington Attorney General Opposition Letter to H.R. 5034 (PDF)
ShipCompliant/Wines & Vines Direct-to-Consumer Research (PDF)

In addition, there is a Facebook group dedicated to stopping HR 5034, and a quick blog search on HR 5034 turns up nearly 4000 articles.

We thank you in advance for your prompt attention to this important matter.

Sincerely,


James Carter
Owner/Vintner