Small Wineries Fighting for Shipping Rights

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, September 14, 2004
Nearly one-half of the states prohibit the direct shipment of wine across their borders. Such policies are crippling for small wineries that depend on individual customers for their business. In order to finance a U-S Supreme Court case that could open up some lucrative markets for direct shipping, three thousand small wineries from 16 states, including California, have contributed over a quarter of a million dollars to a special fund over the past month. Sacramento attorney, Tracy Genesen, who represents a coalition of small wineries, says taking a case to the Supreme Court is expensive. GENESEN :09—We have to hire lawyers that are the best and the brightest, those that are going to have sway and credibility with nine justices. Advocates for the wineries hope to raise 750-thousand dollars by the time the high court hears the case in December. A ruling on whether direct shipping bans are discriminatory could come by next summer. Opponents of interstate sales say direct shipping enables minors to easily obtain alcoholic beverages. Bob Hensley KXJZ News.