Yesterday I recieved an email from Mitzi at James River Winery asking for any and all help from Virginia Wine Lovers out there. This Thursday the 18th of January is SAVE VIRGINIA WINE LOBBY DAY. They will be meeting at 8:30 Thursday Morning at The Alliance Group's Office (their PR firm) then walk over to the General Assembly Building. Recommending Parking will be the Bank of America parking garage or the Omni Hotel garage. She said that more information will be sent out Tuesday so I will update my blog then. Below is a letter from their PR firm detailing the issue and listing some ways you, the consumer can help
Also check out this link to First in Wine. It gives a great list of everything you can do to help VA wineries as well as information about everything you ever wanted to know about Self Distribution.
what we call self-distribution.
If the cap for self-distribution were set at, say, 3000 cases, then it would be a win-win. The wineries would be able to get their product to market --- and be able to sell it --- at a reasonable price with a reasonable profit for them. And they could grow to a size where they would be profitable for a distributor. The distributors wouldn’t be burdened with trying to market small customers instead of the more profitable large scale producers. And the ultimate winners, of course, are the consumers and all those involved in the Agri-Tourism industry in
The other key area is related to restrictive land use issues. There are counties in
number of customers that a winery may invite to their tasting room and in some localities it is impossible to have a tasting room at all. Every business must have customers. Why should wineries have a more restrictive business climate than other
Saving Virginia Wines involves a two-pronged approach. We need to work on the issue of self-distribution, as well as the issue of land use restrictions. Both are key to ultimate success in saving the industry.
In 1979, there were only 6 farm wineries in
In 2006, the General Assembly took away the wineries’ ability to self-distribute. The median sized winery in
Currently about 1/3 of
Support for self-distribution for both in-state and out-of-state wineries at a reasonable level --- say 3,000 cases --- makes sense.
These efforts --- working together --- will enable us to Save Virginia Wines.
For more information, please contact:
Terri Cofer Beirne, Esq. Liz Bryant, PR & Media Relations Advisor
McCandlish Holton, PC The Alliance Group