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  1. #1
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    Internet wine sale limitation in IL

    Maybe this is common around the country but IL has a law going into effect on Sunday 6/1 that restricts online sales:

    http://www.suntimes.com/business/980...wine31.article

    The law prohibits out-of-state retailers...including internet sellers...from shipping directly to IL consumer. Some out-of-state wineries are licensed to sell up to 12 cases per year to IL residents. About 50 of these wineries have been granted licenses to sell directly to consumers.

    It will be a violation of the law for an IL resident to purchase wine..say in CA and have it shipped to their IL address....though the focus of the law is on internet sales.

    The Supreme Court mandated that states have a "Golden Rule" policy for wine sales...the idea is that states should have the same wine selling rules between them.

    I cannot help but think that this law serves a political base...especially in this state of corruption. The liqour distributors remain the gateway.
    Is this similar across the nation?

  2. #2
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    Re: Internet wine sale limitation in IL

    In most cases state-level distributors are behind these laws. They don't want direct sales, and line the pockets of greedy state legislators to keep that from happening. This is true in many places (it certainly was in Florida).

    The lack of any "reciprocal" wine sale relationship between Illinois and any other state probably means there are no or few wineries in Illinois.

    In other cases a state may have a reciprocal relationship for wine sales but not for distilled spirits. Here in Oregon I can order wine from California and elswhere, but cannot order distilled spirits from anywhere. This is due to the OLCC's desire to exercise TOTAL CONTROL over distilled spirits.
    Scott

    "Remember that your sense of humor is inversely proportional to your level of intolerance."
    - Serge Storms

  3. #3
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    Re: Internet wine sale limitation in IL

    The main thing the SCOTUS said was that you can't treat in-state and out-of-state producers differently. You either have to permit all to direct ship or permit none to direct ship. This is consistent with a very long line of Commerce Clause cases and not exactly the spin the Sun Times put on it. States with significant domestic production tend to favor permitting direct shipping while states that don't tend to listen to their state's distributors and oppose direct shipment.

    The Sun Times story also cited the "$253 million a year wine industry" in Illinois, which is very misleading. What that might represent is the retail value of all the wine sold in Illinois in a year, so the word "industry" should have been "market." There are wineries in Illinois but they are the usual, tourism-driven, hybrid-based operations that have always existed in the midwest. If that industry in Illinois is even worth $25 million, I'd be surprised. You would be hard-pressed, even at a big retailer like Sam's, to find Illinois-made wine available for sale.

    The interesting part of the story is that, in fact, consumers can buy directly from wineries if the winery has obtained a license for direct sale in Illinois, which I'm sure obliges the shipper to pay all relevant Illinois taxes. It also seems to suggest that in-state producers don't need the license, which might be a Commerce Clause violation.
    Last edited by cowdery; 06-02-2008 at 11:14.

  4. #4
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    Re: Internet wine sale limitation in IL

    Just as an FYI:

    http://lmi.ides.state.il.us/lmr/winter_2002/wine.htm
    http://www.illinoiswine.com/

    "Nearly 70 wineries are located throughout the state."

    I certainly agree it is still a developing agricultural product...partly held back by the varieties of grapes that are suitable and making the produced varieties more well known.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illinois_wine

    "In 2004, twelve grape varieties accounties for 89% of grape area harvested in Illinois. The favorite varieties, in descending order by area devoted to production, were Chardonel, Chambourcin, Vignoles, Traminette, Concord, Foch, Seyval, Norton, Vidal Blanc, Frontenac, Niagara, and Cayuga White.[3]

    Many of these varieties are "hybrid" varieties. These hybrids, which are adapted to the cold climates of central and northern Illinois, are grapes grown from vines that are hybridized descendants of both European vinifera grapes and native American grape varieties."
    Last edited by Jono; 06-02-2008 at 11:39.

  5. #5
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    Re: Internet wine sale limitation in IL

    Quote Originally Posted by Jono View Post
    "In 2004, twelve grape varieties accounties for 89% of grape area harvested in Illinois. The favorite varieties, in descending order by area devoted to production, were Chardonel, Chambourcin, Vignoles, Traminette, Concord, Foch, Seyval, Norton, Vidal Blanc, Frontenac, Niagara, and Cayuga White.[3]

    Many of these varieties are "hybrid" varieties. These hybrids, which are adapted to the cold climates of central and northern Illinois, are grapes grown from vines that are hybridized descendants of both European vinifera grapes and native American grape varieties."
    These hybrids were originally developed to overcome the phylloxera root louse, introduced to Europe when a misguided Frenchman, in an attempt to prove the "superiority" of French soil, planted some Vitis labrusca (N. American native) in a French vineyard. The European Vitis vinifera had no resistance to this and by the 1890s most vineyards were infested.

    The French response was to attempt to produce hybrid varieties, most of which failed to produce quality wine.

    The Californians were also coping with the louse, introduced by a farming family who brought their Concord vines with them from back east (phylloxera originally did not occur west of the Mississippi). They hit upon the idea of grafting vinifera vines onto labrusca rootstock. This worked, and when the Europeans got wind of this, they abandoned the hybrids.

    Hybrids found a new application in areas too cold to grow vinifera (New York, the midwest).

    Here in Oregon's Willamette Valley it's too cool for grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon to ripen properly, so some growers planted Foch (aka Marechal Foch) because it produced a robust red. In recent years this has been largely supplanted by Syrah, but there's still some Foch around, and some of the wine isn't half bad (e.g., Chateau Lorane).
    Scott

    "Remember that your sense of humor is inversely proportional to your level of intolerance."
    - Serge Storms

  6. #6
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    Re: Internet wine sale limitation in IL

    The grapes listed there that aren't hybrids are full-on labruscas, usually described as having a "foxy" taste. With the possible exception of the Norton, they're not highly regarded. This is not to say these wines are bad, just that they tend not to be very popular. Most wine drinkers buy wines made from the noble vinifera varieties associated with Europe, even if the wines come from America or Australia. Because of phylloxera, all vinefras are grafted to labrusca root stock, but that's not the same as a hybrid. Wines produced from the hybrids tend to be more acceptable than wines made from straight labruscas, but true vinifera's are preferred by the vast majority of wine drinkers.

  7. #7
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    Re: Internet wine sale limitation in IL

    I have enjoyed "some" the bottlings produced in both MO and MI...Vignoles, Seyval, Frontenac, Norton, Vidal Blanc, Chambourcin.....have not had the Traminette....usually sold as decent everyday table wines....blended quite often....to produce decent wines...not premium but not bad. That could change with improvements.

    The other grapes are more for regular juices and sparkling juice.

    Some of the wines from MI are quite good....I love the Grand Traverse area for the wineries and great topography. Same with some of the MO wines.

    A local wine shop does have an IL section....will have to try a few this summer.

  8. #8
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    Re: Internet wine sale limitation in IL

    In the Quad Cities, Galesburg, and Peoria areas it is easy enough to find a few ILL. wines. None that I have tried, I liked. I hate to speak badly about products made in my home state, But I gotta be honest. Low alcohol, too much residual sugar, unfamiliar grape varieties and wines made from from non-grape fruits.

    My wife bought a strange chocolate flavored raspberry port called De Tramboise Chocolat produced by Illinois River Winery in Utica IL. She liked it. I thought it was gross.

  9. #9
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    Re: Internet wine sale limitation in IL

    Continuing the thread drift on local midwestern wines <G>:

    During a wine tasting, the sommelier got on a rant (not uncommon for him - the only question was the topic for the night) about how people should drink more wine. I brought up that a recent report had just talked about how wine consumption per capita had increased in Indiana.

    He responded that was only because everyone was drinking Oliver's Red Table wine (an Indiana produced wine that supposedly is the top selling wine in the state). He then asked the question, "If you die, would you want to meet St. Peter at the gates knowing that the last thing you drank was Indiana wine?".

    Tom

  10. #10
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    Re: Internet wine sale limitation in IL

    We ordered some Napa wine in mid May, but the shipment got delayed. Now, it's delayed more while the winery awaits its Illinois license.

    Will it still be legal to bring back a case per person from a trip to California or Europe? Or will I run into a similar situation to my importing 4 liters of tequila into the USA through Texas--a near disaster?
    "A man can take a little bourbon without getting drunk, but if you hold his mouth open and pour in a quart, he's going to get sick on it."
    LBJ

 

 

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