The record shows I spent considerable time last month in the Napa Valley and in Paso Robles. Wine Country. Some of the best wine real estate on the planet. I enjoyed — and learned from — detailed conversations with a dozen or so wine producers and a like number of tasting room hosts.
Visiting so many wineries in such a short time makes it difficult to provide a courtesy I urge on my readers and in my seminars. When visiting a winery, please buy a bottle or two as part of being an agreeable guest and an appreciative visitor. Whether traveling by car — as I was — or by plane — as I have done on past visits, it is not feasible to carry quantities of wine along with luggage, even by car because of the extreme heat in the deserts and prairies. So I always check the shipping provisions.
Nearly all of them list where they will ship. My Hoosier state never makes that list. Ask at the winery, and there are various answers. “We’ll sell you a case and give you the address of a shipping company down the road.”
“We’ll ship it because chances are no one will check on us.” Or, “We won’t ship because it’s risky.”
“We find it impractical to seek a license in Indiana, so we no longer try.”
Most wineries out there do a significant on-line or mail-order business. They are all cogniscent of individual state laws and the fears of underage drinking. And they pay appropriate taxes. Collectively, they agree that states generate a great deal of revenue from their direct shipping practices. Not Indiana.
It seems a shame to deny Indiana its share of substantial revenue and Hoosiers their share of wines from afar. The state is noticeable for its absence.