Seattle Wine Blog

This blog is dedicated to commentary on all aspects of wine, especially short entries to help you find the best wines without the usual hype and spin. These are my frank, independent opinions, usually based on tasting wine at a public event, off the shelf or at the winery. "All creative acts must arise out of a specific soil and flicker with a spirit of place" -D.H. Lawrence

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

No Small Victory For Consumers And Small Wineries

The Washington State Senate unanimously passed legislation supporting self distribution by wineries, all wineries, in and out of state. This is great news because it will help hundreds of small Washington State wineries survive by acting as their own distributor. It's great news for us consumers, because we will be able to order direct from any American winery that complies with Washington State regulations, in or out of state. Wine from other countries will still be distributed by distributors. Assuming a similar measure passes the house, this is the best possible outcome for consumers.


  • At 5:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    While the bill may help Washington wineries and retailers, there is no difference for consumers, who could already buy from anyone in the US who is selling wine, and have it shipped to their home.

    In fact there are only a couple of retailers who have the resources to take advantage of the new rule.

    The importance of this legislation is that wineries are no longer forced to distribute using the three tier system, and that mmakes Washington unique among all 50 states.

    That said, not any will take advantage of that opportunity for purely practical reasons; distributors are an efficient way to get products to market for most wineries.


  • At 10:28 AM, Blogger SeattleWineBlog said…

    Yes, but what if the Washington State legislature had chosen to disallow self-distribution by wineries in or out of state in a perverse compliance with the interstate commerce concerns expressed by the Supreme Court.

    Distributors serve a very important function in getting wine to retailers and consumers and will continues to do so. Many of the best and smallest wineries in Washington self distribute which benefits everyone. Small is beautiful.

  • At 8:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    There is no political will in Washington to hurt small wineries, so the distributors caved.

    Small is beautiful for people who want to seek out unique bottles, but for the average consumer big is cheaper. It's just a proactical thing.

    Distributors are for the most part extremely cynical about the business, but most of the wine that finds it's way to the QFC or Safeway shelves will be bought from distributors


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