Wisconsin wants to tangle wine sales

While some states are untangling their cobweb of wine sales rules, Wisconsin may be going the other way.

A proposal slipped into the state budget document this week would require all wineries to go through a distributor when selling wine. That would effectively prohibit wineries from shipping directly to stores and virtually end direct mailing of wine to residences. It also might prevent wineries from selling their own products on their premises.

The proposal comes in response to a 2005 U.S. Supreme Court decision that all wineries should be on a level playing field, but some area wineries say the proposal will end up doing more harm than good.

The budget, along with the proposed wine law, was passed Tuesday in the Wisconsin State Senate. The Assembly version of the bill is scheduled to come up for a vote next week.

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