We just sent out the release emails for our Fall release – the 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon.
It's amazing how many details go into setting up a release. Scrubbing the Mailing List. Updating the order forms. Making sure that everything is set up correctly in our online store.
For us, there was a lot more to do for this release than would normally be required, because we are significantly expanding the states we can ship to.
The 2005 release went essentially just to California. There wasn't much of it, so it didn't make sense to apply for direct inter-state shipping permits.
As you may already know, shipping wine direct to consumers in another state is a quagmire. Every state has different rules. In some states it's illegal. In others, the process is so cumbersome or expensive that it's impractical. For states where you can get a permit to ship direct, you are generally signing up for a significant reporting effort. States often require out-of-state wineries to submit monthly sales tax, excise tax and shipment reports even if there were no sales to that state in that month.
This release, we decided to get shipping permits for all states that "made sense". That obviously means states that permit it. But more importantly, it means states that are likely to be a market for our wines. So we hope to be able to ship to:
- New Mexico
- New Hampshire
- New York
- North Carolina
- Washington D.C.
As you can see, this is a big change for us. Is it completely set up yet? No. We could still run into delays dealing with state bureaucracies. But we think we can get all of these eventually.
What about other states? We're not willing to skirt the laws. If you can't have the wine shipped to somewhere legal, your best option may be a storage facility such as 55 Degrees in St. Helena (www.fiftyfivedegrees.com). If you rent a locker there, we will deliver your wine to 55 Degrees for free. At that point, it's yours. You can instruct 55 Degrees to ship your wine to you whenever you like.
So we've jumped into the wacky world of inter-state direct wine shipping with both feet. It may be a wild ride.
What do you think of all this?