Small Indiana wineries lobby for expanded distribution

mall wineries in Indiana are lobbying for the chance to sell their products direct to retailers and restaurants after the number of wine wholesalers in the state plummeted from hundreds to several dozen.

Posted: Feb 24, 2019 12:43 PM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Small wineries in Indiana are lobbying for the chance to sell their products direct to retailers and restaurants after the number of wine wholesalers in the state plummeted from hundreds to several dozen.

Under current rules, alcohol producers must use a wholesaler rather than self-distribute. But small wineries can have trouble attracting wholesalers because of their size. Small wineries are lobbying lawmakers for access to a micro-wholesaler permit that would allow them to distribute up to 12,000 gallons of wine annually, The Indianapolis Business Journal reported .

The permit has been available for about 12 years, but state law doesn't allow permit holders to also own a winery.

"For a lot of wineries, that's our primary issue this session," said Jim Butler, owner of Bloomington-based Butler Winery and treasurer of the Indiana Winery & Vineyard Association.

Republican Rep. Ed Clere of New Albany has introduced legislation that would allow for businesses to own both a wholesale permit and a winery permit. The move will help wineries grow, he said.

"I just want everybody to have more wine," Clere said. "It's frustrating because small producers are finding it increasingly difficult to get their products into retailers and restaurants."

Wine distributors Republic National and Southern Glazer's both oppose the proposed legislation, said Jim Purucker, the executive director of Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of Indiana, which represents the distributors.

Purucker said he's concerned that larger companies may take advantage of the change and that the 12,000 cap won't stay.

"We can't just say it's only 12,000 gallons," Purucker said. "That limit will just continue to rise all the time."

West Lafayette
Few Clouds
91° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 95°
Kokomo
Clear
89° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 91°
Rensselaer
Clear
86° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 90°
Fowler
Clear
86° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 90°
Williamsport
Clear
90° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 94°
Crawfordsville
Broken Clouds
88° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 93°
Frankfort
Scattered Clouds
91° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 97°
Delphi
Clear
90° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 91°
Monticello
Clear
90° wxIcon
Hi: 95° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 91°
Logansport
Clear
90° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 92°
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 47432

Reported Deaths: 2687
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion11546683
Lake5104242
Elkhart321144
Allen2737129
St. Joseph190866
Cass16389
Hamilton1538100
Hendricks1390100
Johnson1256118
Porter72037
Tippecanoe6948
Madison65564
Clark64044
Bartholomew58244
Howard56557
LaPorte56326
Kosciusko5354
Vanderburgh5026
Marshall4823
Jackson4693
Noble46928
LaGrange4677
Hancock44035
Boone43743
Delaware43150
Shelby42325
Floyd37144
Morgan32731
Montgomery29320
Grant29126
Clinton2882
Monroe27628
Dubois2666
White26010
Henry25815
Decatur24932
Lawrence24225
Vigo2318
Dearborn22823
Harrison21222
Warrick21229
Greene18532
Miami1822
Jennings17411
Putnam1688
DeKalb1604
Scott1607
Daviess14216
Orange13623
Wayne1366
Steuben1282
Perry1279
Franklin1248
Ripley1157
Jasper1142
Wabash1122
Carroll1102
Fayette987
Newton9810
Starke923
Whitley905
Randolph784
Huntington742
Jefferson722
Wells711
Fulton691
Jay680
Washington681
Gibson672
Knox640
Pulaski641
Clay604
Rush563
Adams501
Benton480
Owen471
Sullivan441
Brown381
Posey380
Blackford372
Spencer371
Crawford300
Fountain302
Tipton301
Switzerland260
Martin220
Parke220
Ohio140
Vermillion140
Warren141
Union130
Pike100
Unassigned0193

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events