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Free the Grapes Alabama: Urge State Lawmakers to Allow Wine Shipments

Act Now to Support Senate Bill 243 for Consumer Choice
by Press Release
February 13, 2018

February 12, 2018—Napa, CA – Alabama is one of only six states with an archaic ban on winery-to-consumer direct shipments. But proposed legislation would, if passed, allow adult consumers in Alabama to purchase a limited amount of wine directly from wineries licensed by the state to ship. Senate Bill 243, scheduled to be considered on February 14, 2018, would not only benefit wine lovers with greater choice, but also Alabama’s economy.

“The time has come for Alabamians to access the wines they want,” said Jeremy Benson, executive director of Free the Grapes!, the national movement of consumers, wineries and retailers seeking to expand consumer choice in wine with legal, regulated direct to consumer shipments. “We believe consumers should determine which wines they can enjoy and how they purchase them. Senate Bill 243 will give Alabama’s wine lovers that privilege.”

Model direct shipping legislation, similar to Senate Bill 243, is working successfully in 44 states and the District of Columbia, which represents nearly 94% of the population. The laws provide additional tax revenues, satisfy consumer demand, and meet regulatory requirements in a dynamic marketplace. Contrary to arguments stating otherwise, removing barriers to winery-to-consumer shipping does not hurt local retailers or beverage wholesalers. On the other hand, regulated wine shipping does boost tax collections, a benefit to the state and local economy.

“Don’t believe the scare tactics presented by opponents,” Benson continued. “No state has rescinded its direct shipping laws based on non-compliance, underage access, or loss of jobs. Senate Bill 243 is a beneficial bill for the state of Alabama and a win for consumer choice.”

How to Help

Alabamian wine lovers eager to access the wines they want are asked to visit and personalize a letter which is automatically sent to their legislators before Wednesday, February 14. Personalize a letter here:

About Free the Grapes!
Founded in 1998, Free the Grapes! is a national movement of consumers, wineries and retailers seeking to expand consumer choice in wine with legal, regulated direct shipments. To receive email updates, visit

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