Policy Perspectives

Bipartisan Agreement (!)

Just when we thought it was forever impossible, a coalition of  House Republicans and Democrats passed crucial legislation to fund conflicts in Ukraine, Israel, and the Indo-Pacific region. It was truly a high-wire act for Speaker Mike Johnson, who some of his outraged GOP colleagues are threatening to “vacate” (meaning fire) because he actually reached across the aisle. If they move in that direction, the question is whether Democrats might come to his rescue.

Meanwhile, our legislative priorities are stalled in the gridlock, but we’re still trekking to DC on May 7-8 to meet with our Senators and Representatives and remind them we’re here. To give you a better idea of what we do and how, next week’s WineAmerica Perspectives e-newsletter will feature our 2024 Government Affairs handbook. By the way, Executive Vice President and Director of Government Affairs Michael Kaiser has requested 106 legislative meetings for the 40+ members flying in from around the country. Look out, Washington!

Compliance Matters

Wine is fermented grape juice which, due to the resulting alcohol, is heavily regulated on international, federal, state, and even local levels. Staying in business means knowing and obeying all the laws and regulations.

Besides advocating to protect and enhance the business climate for the American wine industry, WineAmerica provides information on how to stay compliant and out of trouble. Our website includes a special section, “Compliance Matters”, which is not legal advice but rather general information with links to official sources for more information. Wineries should consult their own attorneys for legal advice.

We also host occasional Zoom listening sessions in which experts provide their perspectives on topics of interest to our members, such as Direct-to-Consumer shipping, Music Licensing, new labeling requirements in the European Union and, most recently this week, “How Wineries Can Discuss Sensitive Topics”, conducted by noted beverage alcohol attorney John Hinman.

The listening sessions are open to WineAmerica members only, and those who attend also receive the recording and related documents, as do members unable to be present for the live Zoom. Those who were not members at the time of the listening session may also receive this information by joining here.