Texas Governor Signs Bill Opening Entire State to Direct-to-Consumer Wine Shipping

May 10, 2005, 01:00 ET from Wine Institute

    SAN FRANCISCO, May 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Texas Governor Rick Perry yesterday
 signed SB 877, a bill authored by State Senator Frank Madla (D-San Antonio),
 which opens Texas by declaring the entire state "wet" for wine shipments. In
 late 2003, the Texas ABC declared that the state was "open" for direct
 shipments but ruled that all wineries must comply with existing wet/dry rules.
 This compliance requirement, since it could not be delineated based on zip
 codes or other standard geographic boundaries, had stymied the efforts of
 wineries to ship to Texas consumers. SB 877 solves this problem by declaring
 the entire state "wet" for wine shipments.
     "We applaud Governor Perry, Senator Madla and the entire Texas legislature
 for addressing this problem and opening up the great state of Texas to the
 legal, regulated direct shipping of wine to consumers," said Robert P. Koch,
 President and CEO of the Wine Institute.  "Declaring the entire state of Texas
 'wet' for wine shipments is a strong signal of support for the local Texas
 wine industry and for consumer choice."
     The bill was passed overwhelmingly by the Senate in March and passed
 unanimously by the House last week. Wineries that obtain both a $75 annual
 Out-Of-State Wine Shipper's Permit and a Texas sales tax permit will be able
 to ship up to three gallons per month to any individual in the state, and must
 pay Texas state sales and excise taxes.  The state TABC has 90 days to prepare
 the required forms and formalize regulations, but they have stated that
 wineries may begin shipping wine immediately, and will not be required to have
 the licenses and comply with reporting requirements until they are available
 within 90 days.
     Wine Institute is the public policy advocacy group for 839 California
 wineries and affiliated businesses that account for 85 percent of U.S. wine
 production.  Since 1985, the organization has worked on legislative and
 regulatory solutions for direct-to-consumer wine shipping.

SOURCE Wine Institute