Again this message is from our friend Roger at Hickory Hill Vineyards.
This looks pretty good for Virginia's small wineries. Everyone keep you fingers crossed and hopefully this will work out the way we hope it does. Keep up the support and keep enjoying Virginias fine wine!
"In spite of all our effort and the public support it brought to the attention of the press and legislators, apparently no members of the ABC sub-committee changed their position and agreed to support Delegate Saxmans bill. Only Delegate Abbitt was on our side.
On Thursday VWA leadership worked with Saxman, ABC, VA Dept of Agri, and the wholesalers lobby to write a substitute bill (still HB-2450 as I understand) which authorizes VA Dept of Agri to set up a distributorship for wineries to distribute up to 3000 cases. This substitute bill was approved by the sub-committee and will go forward. The bill is apparently similiar to a proposal made by Senator Hanger last week. Details (cost, etc) are not yet worked out, but if approved by the legislature it could provide a method for small wineries to have access to the market. Whether this is a real solution remains to be seen.
You can read the substitute bill on line by going to the legislature site. Note that details would be worked out by a board that contains two winery representetives and that the distributorship will be operated as a non-profit agency."