The Florida State Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR), which oversees direct shipping and issued the regulatory determination that allowed direct shipping in early 2006, may reverse that existing regulatory ruling on May 5, 2007.
The Department’s website states that a legislative solution is required and it will remove the web page on May 4, the final day of Florida’s 2007 legislative session. The ominous implication is that your ability to purchase wines from out-of-state wineries licensed to ship to Florida will be eliminated in four weeks.

…Florida began allowing winery-to-consumer direct shipping in February 2006. Since then, the number of wineries filing shipping reports and paying the required excise taxes has increased from 0 to more than 500. From July 2006 through January 2007, out of state wineries shipped approximately 30,000 cases and paid more than $157,000 in excise taxes. By all accounts, the transition has been a success.

Proactive information below the fold.
And our own, sweet ‘lil Holly Benson’s part of this now. Has she lost her cotton pickin’ Bangla-cola brain?!

Please personalize the sample letter, below, and fax today or over the weekend, to the DPBR’s Secretary Benson and Governor Crist. Send us (Free the Grapes) a copy too, please (fax 707-254-0433)
Time permitting, you can voice your opinion on wine direct shipping at a committee hearing scheduled for this Monday, April 9. Apologies for the late notice; it was just scheduled this morning.
When: Monday, April 9, 1:15 – 3:45 pm
What: DPBR Committee Hearing on Senate Bills 126 and 2282 (Saunders and Geller), open to the public.
Who to Contact: If you can attend, please call Susanne Dudley at Core Message at (850) 519-5759 or (850) 222-3767, or email her at She can provide more information on both SB 126 and 2282, too.
Where: The Capitol, Senate Building Room 110 (ground floor), Tallahassee. When facing the Capitol, it is the building on the left and you can enter the Senate Building directly from the outside without having to go through the main Capitol doors. Metered parking is available around the Capitol, and there is a public parking garage at Kleman Plaza, 306 S. Duval Street.
Department of Business & Professional Regulation
Secretary Holly Benson
Fax 850-921-4094
Governor Charlie Crist
Fax 850-487-0801
Dear Governor Crist and Secretary Benson,
As an adult voter of Florida, I urge you to continue allowing direct shipments of wine to adult consumers like me.
I want to continue purchasing limited amounts of my favorite wines, from any winery, regardless of their production size or location. The DBPR’s regulatory ruling that began allowing direct shipments in 2006 has been a boon to wine lovers like me, and provides additional tax revenues for the state. Thank you!
But the DBPR’s website implies that this regulatory ruling will be revoked on May 5, unless legislation is passed. If that’s the case, I support Representative Bogdanoff’s House Bill 1217, which currently includes provisions shown to be successful in the majority of U.S. states, and gives consumers like me the ability to choose from wineries licensed to ship to Florida. On the other hand, Senate Bills 126 and 2282 both include an arbitrary “cap” provision that would ban shipments from many popular wineries that happen to produce more than 250,000 gallons. This is arbitrary, discriminatory and similar provisions in three states are being challenged in court. Don’t cap my wine!
If you are going to replace the ruling with legislation, I hope that you will support HB1217, and without a cap. As a voter and citizen of our great state, let’s make the right decision by placing consumer choice ahead of special interests.
Your Name
Street Address
City, FLORIDA Zip Code

One Response to “ARGH! The BASTARDS!!

  1. Mike Rentner says:

    Don’t get too worked up. The US Supreme Court decided in Granholm v. Heald 125 S. Ct. 1885 (decided in 2005) that states must allow alcohol to be directly shipped from out of state if they allow it to be directly shipped from within the state.
    Quoting from the decision:
    “States have broad power to regulate liquor under §2 of the Twenty-first Amendment. This power, however, does not allow States to ban, or severely limit, the direct shipment of out-of-state wine while simultaneously authorizing direct shipment by in-state producers. If a State chooses to allow direct shipment of wine, it must do so on evenhanded terms. Without demonstrating the need for discrimination, New York and Michigan have enacted regulations that disadvantage out-of-state wine producers. Under our Commerce Clause jurisprudence, these regulations cannot stand.”
    So, it looks to me like your direct shipments are assured, Florida is just having an internal debate as to how they’re going to comply with the constitutional requirements. I doubt the local winery lobby will allow them to completely abolish locally originated direct shipments.

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