Free the Grapes! is a national grassroots coalition of wine lovers, wineries and retailers who seek to remove restrictions in states that still prohibit consumers from purchasing wines directly from wineries and retailers.
Their goal is to ensure consumer choice in wine.
Did you know that the 1st Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (a federal court) declared in January 2010 that a Massachusetts law barring shipments from wineries producing more than 30,000 gallons was unconstitutional. The legislature was tasked with developing a remedy but has failed to do so over the past two years.
Currently a Massachusetts bill, HB 1029 lies in a coma in committee. Massachusetts is one of only 12 states that still do not allow wineries to direct ship to consumers. Considering that wine is a legal, agricultural product and I am an of-age consumer trying to support American made products I should be able to purchase such products at my own discretion and not be limited by some archaic three-tiered system put in place at the end of Prohibition to tell me what I can and can’t purchase. This old system no longer protects the consumer, as it was originally set up to do. It only serves today to protect the wholesale tier and undercuts and ties the hands of the people who actually produce the wine.
Read the information written by Free the Grapes! below. They have included a customizable letter and links to the representatives on the committee deciding this bill’s fate. Please take a moment to write to these representatives if you live in the state of Massachusetts and let them know that you don’t want your choices limited by an outdated system. In case you need another incentive. Passing the HB1029 Direct Wine Shipping bill is worth $4.5 million in tax revenue to the state per year!