Sunday, July 6, 2014

Out-of-state wineries lead applicants under new mail order wine law

Posted By on Sun, Jul 6, 2014 at 7:12 AM

click to enlarge AVAILABLE BY MAIL: Wine from Wiederkehr's cellars. - ARKANSAS.COM
  • arkansas.com
  • AVAILABLE BY MAIL: Wine from Wiederkehr's cellars.
Interesting account from Southwest Times Record on the results of a state law that allow mail order wine sales from wineries with permits and which receive in-person orders.

Two Arkansas wineries got the permits. But 86 California, one Oregon and one Washington winery have obtained the permits. There are no records of sales, but Arkansas winery operators say the law still leaves a lot to be desired.

Yes, straight mail-order sales would be preferable. But this is likely far too easy alcohol access — and not favorable to Arkansas wineries — for Arkansas legislators. The new law followed a legally flawed effort to allow mail order sales by Arkansas wineries, but not those from other states. It was another one of those cases where a mean old activist federal judge said the U.S. Constitution wouldn't permit such restrictions on interstate commerce. So far nobody has challenged the higher permit fees for out-of-state wineries to ship into Arkansas.

Wiederkehr and Chateau Aux Arc are taking advantage of the law. Al Wiederkehr reports that his Beau Noir red wine is his best seller.


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