Wine wholesalers could be bypassed under proposed bill

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Indiana-based farm wineries could sell their products directly to retailers and dealers instead of going through a third party under a bill debated Wednesday in the House Public Policy Committee.

House Bill 1387 would allow wineries to distribute up to 5,000 gallons of wine to grocery stores, restaurants, bars and other establishments.

The state passed the Farm Winery Act in 1971, which allowed wineries to sell on their premises and directly to retailers. But, in 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states can’t let one group of wineries sell directly to retailers without letting all of them do so. So, the following year, the General Assembly created a micro wine wholesalers permit that made wineries have to go through a third party to sell their wine.

Now the committee would like to overturn the law, doing away with wholesalers.

The “micro wholesaler program in reality has proven to be ineffective for small wineries to use and very expensive to set up,” said the bill’s author, Rep Mark Messmer, R-Jasper.

“The 2006 changes were extremely adverse to the Indiana wine industry, and the General Assembly should adopt some degree of self- distribution for farm wineries by being sensitive to not negatively impacting the distributors of wine in the state,” Messmer said.

Lisa Hays, from the Governmental Affairs Counsel for Indiana Winery and Vineyard Association, argued that the 2006 bill did nothing to guarantee a wholesaler.

Marc Carmichael, from the Indiana Beverage Alliance, said wholesalers have an obligation to help wineries sell their product. It doesn’t matter if wholesalers lose money. He said he does not agree with the bill’s solution.

“This bill fills the economic gap. It affords the opportunity to small breweries to get the products to the people,” Hays said.

The committee decided not to vote on the bill Wednesday, citing a need for further discussion.


  • Wow
    A business being allowed to sell their product to a customer... imagine that.
  • Put your money where your wine-drinking mouth is
    Now if only area restaurants that tout "local produce," "farm-to-table" practices would help promote local wine into their food pairings... nah, that would upset their wine distributors.

Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. So much for Eric Holder's conversation about race. If white people have got something to say, they get sued over it. Bottom line: white people have un-freer speech than others as a consequence of the misnamed "Civil rights laws."

  2. I agree, having seen three shows, that I was less than wowed. Disappointing!!

  3. Start drilling, start fracking, and start using our own energy. Other states have enriched their citizens and nearly elminated unemployment by using these resources that are on private land. If you are against the 'low prices' of discount stores, the best way to allow shoppers more choice is to empower them with better earnings. NOT through manipulated gov mandated min wage hikes, but better jobs and higher competitive pay. This would be direct result of using our own energy resources, yet Obama knows that Americans who arent dependent of gov welfare are much less likely to vote Dem, so he looks for ways to ensure America's decline and keep its citizens dependent of gov.

  4. Say It Loud, I'm Black and Ashamed: It's too bad that with certain "black" entertainment events, it seems violence and thuggery follows and the collateral damage that it leaves behinds continues to be a strain on the city in terms of people getting hurt, killed or becoming victims of crimes and/or stretching city resources. I remember shopping in the Meadows area years ago until violence and crime ended make most of the business pack you and leave as did with Lafayette Square and Washington Square. Over the past 10 to 12 years, I remember going to the Indiana Black Expo Soul Picnic in Washington Park. Violence, gang fights and homicides ended that. My great grandmother still bears the scares on her leg from when she was trampled by a group of thugs running from gun fire from a rival gang. With hundreds of police offices downtown still multiple shootings, people getting shot downtown during Black Expo. A number of people getting shots or murdered at black clubs around the city like Club Six on the west side, The Industry downtown, Jamal Tinsley's shot out in front of the Conrad, multiple fights and shootings at the skating rinks, shootings at Circle Center Mall and shooting and robberies and car jackings at Lafayette Mall. Shootings and gang violence and the State Fair. I can go on and on and on. Now Broad Ripple. (Shaking head side to side) Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Ashamed.

  5. Ballard Administration. Too funny. This is the least fiscally responsive administration I have ever seen. One thing this article failed to mention, is that the Hoosier State line delivers rail cars to the Amtrak Beech Grove maintenance facility for refurbishment. That's an economic development issue. And the jobs there are high-paying. That alone is worth the City's investment.